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(TAiaroto (TBun aiid chauxs ckoh. 



-^•* > > i( CCC 5(_^'64*t'*l ty . 






(^Tho8€ iUustrationa whiefi have an cuterUk prefixed are not drawn by 

Sib J. Gabdnbb Wilkinson.) 

^ Plate XVII. Great Triad of Thebes — Amen, Mut, and Khonsu 

Frontispiece : see VoL 11. p. 612 
XVIII. Xnum or Chnoumis, Sati or Satis, and Sept or Sothis 
XIX. Amen-ra ........ 

XX. Ptah or Phtha 

XXI. Phtha-Sekar-Asar — Ptah-Socharis-Osiris 
XXII. Ha and Harmachis ...... 






XXIII. Khueuaten and family adoring the Aten or disk To face 62 

XXIV. Nut 63 

XXV. Asar or Osiris 66 

XXVI. Asi or Isis 100 

XXVII. Hat'har, Athor, or Hathor 114 

„ XXVm. Athor 118 

XXIX. Har-ur, Haroeris, and Harsaasi or Harsiesis . 122 

XXX. Harsaasi, Harsiesis 129 

XXXI. Figs. 1, 2, Nubti and Thothmes III. Figs. 3, 4, Har-hat 

and Thothmes III 137 

XXXII. Taur, Thoueris, and S'epu 146 

„ XXXni. Gippos representing Horus on the crocodiles, with the head 

ofBes 153 

„ XXXIV. Fig, 1, Apap or Apdphis. Fig. 2, Horus spearing Apap 

or Apdphis 156 

„ XXXV. Anepu or Anubis ....... 168 

„ XXXVI. Thoth 163 

XXXVII. Fig. la, unknown. Fig. 2, Ta-sen-t-nefer. Fig. 3, Har- 
semt-ta. Fig. 4, Har-pa-ra. Fig. 6, Pan8b-ta. Fig. 6, 

Heka ......... 177 

» XXXVIII. Atum 179 

, XXXIX. Fig. 1, Tefnu. Fig.2, Ur-hek. Fig. 3, Menhi. Fig. 4, Bast 192 

> XL. Nekheb or Nishem, Eileithyia ..... 196 

> XLI. Uati or Buto 199 

XLII. Sefekh 202 

XLIIL Atum, Bameses II., Sefekh, and Thoth To/ace 203 

XLIV. Hapi, or the Nile 208 

XLV. Figs, la and 15, Thebes. Fig. 2, Tentyris. Fig. 3, Bak. 

Figs. 4 and 6, Rannu 212 

XLVI. Fig. 1, BaL Fig. 2, Heh. Fig. 3, Re[n]pi. Figs. 4 and 6, 

Amen.t ........ 215 

XLVn. Fig. 1, Nebhotep. Fig. 2, Ta-aha. Fig. 3, Unnu. Fig. 

4, souls or spirits of Buto and Men! .... 218 






Plate XLVIIL Fig, 1, Amset. Fig. 2, Hapi. Fig, 3, Tuautmutf. Fig, 4, 

Qabhsenuf 220 

/ „ XLIX. The Forty-two Daemons of the Dead To/ace 223 

L. Amt or Cerberus : various types 225 

LL Tanen, lusaas, Hu, Sebak 227 

LIL Fig. 1, Khu. Fig. 2, Isis. Fig. 3, Hek. Figs, 4 and 5, 

Naham-ua 229 . 

„ LIIL Fig, 1, Mer-sekar. Fig. 2, Mert. Fig. 3, Ani. Fig, 4, 

Ta-nen 231 

LIV. Fig. 1, Horns. Fig. 2, Ras. Fig. 3, Isis. Fig. 4, Ra-ta . 233 
„ LV. Figs. 1, 4, and 5, Reshpu. JF'^. 2, Ket Fig. 3, Khem . 235 

LVI. Fig. 1, Anta. Fig. 2, Sapt. Fig. 3, Anhar. Fig. 4, Menq 237 
„ L VIL Fig. 1, Mat'et Fig. 2, Man. Figs. 3 and 4, Shuu. Fig, 5, 

Ra.t 238 

„ LVIII. Fig, 1, Sat. Fig, 2, Tat-un. Fig. 3, Nebuu. Fig. 4, 

Seb. Figs. 5 and 6, Ahi-ur 240 

U ,, lilX. Birds and other creatures from Egyptian monuments. 

To/ace 312 
/ „ LX. Procession and manifestation of the god Khem or Amsi, 

and of the white bull .... To /ace 355 

^ „ LXI. Set and Horns placing the crown on the head-dress of 

Rameses II. . . . . . . To/ace 361 

v„ LXII. Seti I. anointing Khem or Amsi — Horns and Thoth of Hat 

purifying Amenophis III. . . . T ^ f ni& s 362 

>f „ LXin. Rameses 11. celebrating a festival .... 367 

„ LXIY. Seti I. investing Paur or Paser, a high priest, governor, 

and magistrate, with insignia of office To fact 371 

„ LXV. Fig. 1, king ofifering incense. Fig. 2, king offering water 

and oil-jars. Fig. 3, king offering clothes. Fig. 4, 
king's gift of oil in a silver statue. Fig. 5, king's gift of 
things on a silver statue. JF"^. 6, king*s gift of oil. 
Fig. 7, king offering incense to Ra. Fig. 8, Thothmes 
IIL, protected by Buto, offering a pylon. Fig. 9, king 
offering pure water, attended by queen .415 

y „ LXYI. Great funeral procession of a royal scribe at Thebes 

[coiowrtd) Toface 444 

V „ LXYII. Funeral passing over the Sacred Lake of the Dead, and its 

arrival at the tomb on the other side. Fig. 1, boat with 
mourner and mummy of Neferhetep, scribe of Amen. 
Fig. 2, boat with mourners and sepulchral furniture. 
Fig, 3, boats with furniture, priests, and mourner. Fig. 
4, boat with priests, basket of food, and palm branches. 
Fig, 5, boat with priests, elders, and furniture, aground. 
Fig, 6, boat with priests carrying nosegays and boxes on 
yokes. Fig. 7, female mourner with children. Fig. 8, 
relatives and mourner. Fig. 9, priest offering fire and 
water, and female prostrate. JF^^. 10, cakes offered to 
the dead. Fig. 11, member of family offering papyrus 
flowers. Fig. 12, entrance of tomb : mummy of Nefer- 
hetep supported by his sister Meri ; and another mummy. 
Thebes, (coloured) To/ace 447 



'^ Plate LXVIU. Conveyance of a mummy to sepulchre . . Tofctce 449 

V „ LXIX. Scene of mummies at tombs ... „ 451 

„ LXX. Osiris, attended by the guardian of the balance ; a deity 

with a hatchet, Anubis, giving judgment ; and the barque 

of Gluttony 467 

„ LXXI. Scene of judgment in the hall of the Two Truths . . 469 

„ LXXII. Bandaging mummies and making the cases . . 475 



•Vignette M. — Pyramid at Assur in Nubia ..... 1 

Vignette N. — ^View of the modem town of Manfal(5ot, showing the height 

of the banks of the Nile in summer. In the mountain range, op|)o- 

bite MaufaliSot, are the large crocodile-mummy caves of Madbdeh . 242 

Vignette 0. — Temple at Edfou 364 

Vignette P. — Interior of a mummy-pit, or sepulchral chamber, at Thebes ; 

with a Fdldh woman searching for papyri and ornaments . 427 

•496. Unusual type of Amen-ra 13 

497. Ptah under the form of Stability 17 

498. Porcelain figure of Ptah-Socharis-Osiris. British Museum . . 19 

499. Fig, 1, porcelain figure of Ptah-Socharis-Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys. 

Fig. 2, back of same, with soul of the goddess Bast British Museum 20 

500. Xeper in his boat, ruling the spirits of Heliopolis (fig. 1) ; same with 

scarabseus (fig. 2) . . . . . . . .21 

501. Ka, father of the fathers of the gods 21 

502. Heka, mistress of Hesar 22 

503. Sepulchral figure of Ptah-Socharis-Osiris, used as a box for holding 

mummied objects ......... 23 

504. Khem, Min, or Am.<<i .24 

505. Mut 31 

506. Various forms of the name of Bast or Bubastis (figs. 1-4) 34 

507. Bronze figures of Bast. British Museum 35 

506. Se^et and Menhi, forms of Bast 36 

509. Best 37 

510. Nat or Neith. Figs. 1 and 2, wearing the tetter, or crown of Lower 

Egypt Fig. 3, Neith, having her name on her head ... 40 

511. Nat (Neith) as the West, holding a papyrus sceptre ... 41 

512. Neith with water 42 

513. A form of Neith 43 

514. King under the form of a hawk and of a sphinx, and in his usual 

form, before the god 46 

515. Figures iMraying, accompanied by a star ..... 48 
515a.NKme of Potipberah, Pet-phra, or Pet-ra 54 

516. Fig. 1, Seb, with goose on his head. Fig. 2, Seb, without emblem . 60 

517. Some of the titles of Osiris 70 

> • • 


No. Pack 

518. Osiris Tat, called Sept, father of the gods . . 82 

519. Asar-hapi, Osiris-Apis, or Sarapis ...... 87 

520. Fig, 1, bronze figure of Apis. Fig. 2, the marks on his back . . 88 
621, Hieroglyphical names of Apis {figs, 1-4) ..... 88 

522. Hieroglyphical name of Apis, in the Apis tablets at Saqqdra (Memphis) 89 

523. As or Isis, winged 107 

524. Athor as Ta-aha, * the Cow,' mother of Ra, or the Sun . . .109 

525. The cow of Athor at Denderah, which the Sepoys are said to have 

worshipped Ill 

526. Triad of Isis, Horns, and Nephthys 112 

527. Isis suckling Horns 112 

528. A head-dress of Isis. PhiUE 113 

529. Tablet surmounted by hawk, mummied, ax^m, perhaps emblem of 

Horns 126 

530. Hat {fi>g. 1) and Har-hat {figs, 2-4) 133 

531. Nubti {fi>g, 1) ; with double head (fig, 2) 135 

532. Bes 148 

533. Bes holding nosegays ......... 149 

534. Fig, 1, Bes armed. Fig, 2, details of another shield . 150 

535. Bes and Hi 151 

536. Bes like Hercules 152 

537. Bronze figure of Bes 152 

538. Bes, seated, holding some object. British Museum . . 152 

539. Neb-ta or Nephthys 156 

540. Jackal of Anubis protecting a deceased person .... 160 

541. Thoth 170 

542. Shu {fig, 1) ; with four plumes like Anhar {fig, 2) .172 

543. Porcelain figure of Shu supporting the solar disk. British Museum . 173 

544. Xonsu, Ehonsu, Chons 175 

545. Nefer-Atum 180 

546. Anka or Anoukis 182 

547. A breastplate with the figures of Ba and Ma ..... 183 

548. Ma, daughter of the Sun {fig, 1, with emblem of West); Ma, regent 

of the gods {figs, 2-4) 184 

549. Mentu-ra 187 

550. Fig, 1, Mem. Fig, 2, Meru-ra or Maloul 189 

551. Sebak or Souchis. Fig. 1, ram-headed ; fig, 2, crocodile-headed ; fig, 

3, plume-headed ......... 190 

552. Other forms of the goddess Eileithyia ...... 197 

553. Fig, 1, Uati, or the genius of the Lower Country, opposed to figs, 2 

and 3, Nishem or the goddess Eileithyia ..... 197 

554. Fig, 1, Uati. Figs. 2 and 3, Nishem, the goddess Eileithyia . . 198 

555. The crocodile's tail {fig, 1) in the name of Egypt, * Kham ' {figs, 2, 3) 200 

556. Other modes of writing the name of Egypt. Fig, 1, with eye ; fig, 2, 

with tree 200 

557. Fig, 1, the West. Fig. 2, the East 201 

558. Fig, 1, Serqa or Selk. Fig, 2, Imouthos 204 

559. Pe, or the heaven, with the sun and stars. The figure beneath is Seb 206 

560. Form of Thoth 226 

661. Satcm 226 


Nou Paos 

562. Sapti 228 

563. Neith, or Sa, Sais 228 

564. Naham-ua 230 

565. Mersekar opposed to Eileithyia 230 

566. Stone lion. British Museum ....... 257 

567. Ostrich, \vith the feathers and eggs ...... 257 

567a.ul&u, or Elephantine ......... 295 

568. Name of Apis 306 

569. Androsphinx 309 

570. Kriosphinx 309 

571. Hieracosphinx 309 

572. Sta^ asp-headed monster ........ 310 

573. The qneen Mut-netem of the 18th Dynasty as a female sphinx . 310 

574. Androsphinx .......... 810 

575. Stfer^ or hawk-headed sphinx . . . . . . .311 

576. Wioged gazelle 311 

577. Sha, an emblem of Seth ........ 311 

578. Axex or gryphon ......... 312 

579. Sak, hawk-headed dog 312 

•580. Sacred hawk 316 

581. The Trochilus, or Charadrius melanoctphalus^ Linn. . . . 327 

582. Goose 327 

583. llie oxyrhynchus fish, in bronze ....... 341 

584. llie same, at the Oasis 342 

585. Bronze Lepidotus ......... 343 

586. A fish at Esneh 343 

587. Altar with scarabseus ........ 346 

588. Sacred tamarisk of Osiris. Tomb cU How ..... 349 

589. Priest watering the sacred tamarisk. FhUm ..... 350 

590. Emblems 352 

591. Gifts of the gods to man 352 

592. A king receiving from Amen the emblems of majesty and dominion . 353 

592a. Symbolic frog 353 

*593. Sacred scarabteus. British Museum ...... 353 

593a. Shrine with decorations on a sledge 357 

594. One of the sacred boats or arks, with two figures representing che- 

rubim ........... 358 

595. Dedication of the pylon of a temple to Amen by Kameses 111., who 

wears on one side the crown of Upper, on the other that of Lower, 

Egypt 359 

596. Sceptre of a queen ......... 363 

597. Tau, or sign of life {fiys. 1 and 2) ..... . 363 

598. Hieroglyphs of festivals of thirty years 3G6 

599. Fig, 1, throwing the balls of incense into the fire. Figs, 2 and- 3, 

ceosers. a a, cups for holding the incense balls. &, c, the cups in 
whicb were the fires. In & are three flames of fire ; in c, only one. 
Fig, 4, a censer without a handle. Figs, 5 and 6, other censers, with 
incense balls or pastilles within. These last two are from the tombs 

near the Pyramids 398 

600. Inoenae burnt at the festival of the inundation of the Nile . . 399 

TOL. nL h 


No. Pagv 

601. Taharka, or Tirbakah, conquering the Assyrians .... 401 

602. Heads of foreigners whicli once supported part of the ornamental arclu- 

tectnre at Medeenet Haboo in Thebes . . 403 

603. Enemies as the footstool of a king 403 

604. Seal of the priests, sigmfying that the victims might be slaughtered. 

Determination of the word smau, * to kill ' . . . 407 

605. Stands for bearing offerings 408 

606. Different joints placed on the altars or the tables .... 410 

607. Offering of incense and a libation . . .416 

608. Wine offered in two cups 416 

609. Vases used for libations 417 

610. Offering of milk, art 417 

611. Various flowers from the sculptures. Thebes ..... 418 

612. Fig. 1, a basket of sycamore figs. Figs, 2, 3, and 4, hieroglyphic sig- 

nifying 'wife.' Figs, 5 and 6, Cucurbita Lagenaria, or Karra-fowedl. 

Figs, 7 and 8, Raphanus sativus, var, edulis. Fig, 9, onions . . 419 

613. Preparing to anoint. Thebes 420 

614. * He gives Truth (or Justice) to his father' 421 

615. Emblematic offerings : varieties . . . . 421 

616. Emblematic offerings : other varieties ...... 422 

617. ' Gives sistra to his father.' Thebes 422 

618. Figs. 1 and 2, a priest kneeling at the altar, on which another pours 

a libation. Fig. 3 appears to hold the cubit, or a tablet from which 
he is reading. Fig, 4, another priest, who holds what is supposed 
to be a tail, ' bringing the foot ' 

619. Persons beating themselves before a mummy. 

620. A lamp. Thebes .... 

621. A game or ceremony. Thebes 

622. An attitude of adoration. Thebes 
♦623. Plan of Alexandria .... 

624. llie members of the family present when the services were performed. 


625. A woman embracing and weeping before her husband's mummy 

626. Conveying the mummies on a sledge to the closet in which they were 

kept, after the service had been performed to them. Thebes . 

627. Pouring oil over the head of a mummy. Tomb at Thebes 

628. An altar, in the British Museum, showing that the trench is for car- 

rying off the libation 

629. A table found in a tomb by Burton, on which are a duck trussed and 

another cut open, with cakes. British Museum . 

630. Seals found near the tombs at Thebes . 

631. Closets containing figures of gods 

632. The mummy's head, seen at an open panel of the coffin. 

633. Knot of a belt 

634. A peculiar attendant at a funeral, called ter,t 

635. Figs, 1 and 2, certain personages, ter,t, ' layers out.' 

mummy with its coffin placed on a sledge, before which Jig, 5 is 
pouring grease or some liquid. Fig, 4, a priest reading from a 
papyrus or a tablet 451 

636. A stone scarabaius, covered with wings, which, with the sun and asps, 

are of silver 487 







Fig, 3, the 


as the two-feathered god of Thebes. He is then Amen-ra with the 
head of a ram, as he takes the form of Khem or any other god, — 
a case of very rare occurrence ; * nor can I trace that distinction 
between the figure before us and one of similar form, which the 
learned ChampoUion has considered a different deity presiding 
oyer the inundation ; since the god of Elephantine has the same 
office as that ascribed to the one he distinguishes by the name of 
Cnouphis.' This is farther confirmed by my having found an 
inscription in that island beginning XNOTBI 8EftI, where a 
temple dedicated to him stood till lately amidst the ruins of the 
ancient town, the same mentioned by Strabo as that of Chnuphis. 
It is, indeed, as consistent to suppose the deity of the inundation 
to be one of the characters of the god Chnoumis, as * the President 
of the Western Mountain' to be one of the characters of the 
goddess Athor. 

Herodotus,^ Diodorus, and other writers, in speaking of the 
Jupiter of Ethiopia, evidently had in view the god Chnoubis ; 
and there is less difficulty in accounting for the notion of his 
being the same as Jupiter, since he was, if not the king, at least 
the leader, of the gods. He corresponded to no other deity of 
the Greek Pantheon ; and the triad of the Cataracts, by uniting 
him with Sati or Juno, appears to give him a claim to the name 
of Jove. There is not, however, the same excuse for confounding 
Chnoubis with Amen, or giving to the latter deity the head of a 
ram, as his general attribute. 

* The inhabitants of the Theb^,' says Plutarch,' * worship 
their god Kneph only, whom they look upon as without beginning 
so without end, and are exempt from the tax levied for the main- 
tenance of the sacred animals.' But this could only be true if 
he alludes to the earliest inhabitants of that district; for the 
worship of Amen, or Amen-ra, was much more general through- 
out the Thebwd, except at the island of Elephantine, and Syene. 
Eusebius seems to confound him with Agathodsemon, but this 
name applies rather to another deity, the hawk-headed Har-Hat, 
whose emblem was the winged globe, placed over the doors and 
windows of the Egyptian temples, and overshadowing the sacred 
person of the monarch ; or to the asp, frequently represented in 
the tombs of Thebes, guarding the wine-presses and gardens of 
the Egyptians, which was dedicated to another divinity, the 

' Herodotus iati the onlj two gods Bacchns ; roeaning Chnoumis and Osirii. 
worshipped at Mero<! were Jupiter and * Plut. de Isid. et Osir. s. 21. 

Chap. XUL] CHNOUMia 5 

goddess Bannu,^ who is sometimes figured with the head of 
that snake. 

The asp was also sacred to Chnoimiisy and that deity is fre- 
quently represented in the tombs standing in a boat, with the 
serpent over him ; and he is not unfrequently seen with this 
emblem on kis head, without any other ormament. At the 
Cataracts I have found him with the asp rising from between his 
horns, and bearing the crown of the Lower Country on its head, 
as if intended to indicate the dominion of the deity there as well 
as in the Thebiad. This serpent was the type of dominion ; for 
which reason it was affixed to the head-dress of the Egyptian 
monarchs; and a prince, on his accession to the throne, was 
entitled to wear this distinctive badge of royalty, which, before 
the death of his father, he was not Jiuthorised to adopt. Many 
other parts of the royal dress were ornamented with the same 
emblem ; and * the asp-formed crowns,' mentioned in the Bosetta 
Stone, were exclusively appropriated to the kings or queens of 
Egypt The asp also signified, in hieroglyphics, 'a goddess;* 
and when opposed to the vulture, * the Lower Country ;'^ and it 
was given to Ba, the physical sun, probably as an emblem of that 
dominion which he held over the universe, and from his character 
of prototype of the Pharaohs. ChampoUion has satisfactorily 
accounted for the name Uraeus given to the snake, by suggesting 
that the word derives its origin and signification from eu^roy in 
Coptic ^a king,' answering, as HorapoUo teUs us,^ to the Greek 
fiaaOua-Ko^f ' royal ;' and it is from this last word that the name 
basilisk has been applied to the asp. But I do not know on 
what authority he supposes the royal asp to be different from 
the asp * of Chnouphis.' * 

The description given by Porphyry of *Kneph, with a human 
head, azure black colour, bearing a feather on his head,' agrees 
exactly with the god Shu, but not with Chnoumis ; and these two 
deities can in no way be related, — ^the latter being one of the 
great gods, and the former always having the title ' Son of the 
Sun,' and being of an inferior order of divinities. Nor does any 
representation occur of ' the egg proceeding from his mouth, 
which Porphjrry conjectures to signify the world ; and from 
which proceeded another god called Phtha, the Yulcan of the 

' ChampoUion was perfectly correct in Lower Egypt. 

eouidering the asp of Chnoumis different ' Horapollo, Hierog. i. 1 : * The Egyp- 

from this gnardian genios. I had supposed tians call it Ouraius, which, in the Greek 

this last to belong aUo to Chnonmis. language, signifies $affi\laKos,* 

* See the gol Nnbti, and the genius of * ChampoUion, Pantheon, Nef. 


Greeks ;' and, indeed, this cannot be applied to any deity of the 
Egyptian Pantheon. The figure of Chnoumis was that of a man 
with the head of a ram, frequently of a green colour ; sheep were 
particularly sacred to him ; and with Satis, Juno, and Anoukis, 
Vesta, he formed one of the great triads of Upper Egypt. 

His worship, as I have already observed, was very generally 
admitted in the cities of Ethiopia, particularly above the Second 
Cataract, where the ram's head, his emblem, was used as a 
common ornament, or as an amulet by the devout ; and in that 
part of the country lying between the First Cataract and the 
modem Shendy, the ram-headed Chnoumis, or Cnouphis, was the 
principal god. One deity alone shares with him equal honours, 
but this is in the two temples of Wady Owateb and Wady Benat 
alone, where the lion-headed god appears to be the principal ob- 
ject of worship. At Napata, the capital of Tirhakah (now Gebel 
Berkel), Chnoumis received the highest possible honours ; and 
it may not be unreasonable to conclude that Napata, Nouba,^ and 
the Nobatse were called from this deity, whose name has the 
varied sound of Cnouphis, Chnoubis, Chnebis, Chnoumis, Noub, 
and apparently even of Nou(m), in some of the hieroglyphic 
legends of the Thebaid. 

Herodotus states that, in consequence of sheep being sacred 
to the Theban Jupiter,*^ the people of that nome never sacrifice 
them, but always select goats for their altars : and this is con- 
firmed by the sculptures of Thebes, by which we find that sheep 
were never immolated for the altars of the gods, nor slaughtered 
for the table. The large flocks of sheep in the Thebaid were 
kept for their wool alone ; and the care bestowed upon them, so 
that they might have lambs twice a year and be shorn twice 
within the same period, the number of persons employed there 
in making woollen cloths, and the consequence which the 
sculptures show to have been attached to those animals, testify 
to the importance of the wool trade in Egypt, and serve as 
an additional proof of the advancement of this people in 

At Esn6 or Latopolis, Chnoumis^ is represented under the 

* Some have derived this from nou6, the hieroglyphs for this god, Chnoumis his 

* gold.' been inserted instead throughout this and 

' Herodot. ii. 42. More properly to the preceding pages. His name had no 

Chnebis, who was represented with the connection with the Egyptian word Nif^ 

head of a ram, and not Amen, as he 'breath,' but is written I^em or Auin, a 

supposes. word meaning *• cistern/ ' reservoir,' * to join' 

' As the name Neph does not occur in or ' unite.' (Pierret, Vocab., p. 268.) — S. B. 

Chap. XHI.] CHNOUMIS. 7 

form of a ram, from between whose horns rises the sacred asp : 
and in some of the legends, the name over it is followed by those 
of Osiris, Ba, Shu, and another god with whom Chnoumis is 
connected on this occasion. He is also figured as a man haying 
two or four rams' heads ; but this is of rare occurrence, except 
on monuments of a late date, or in subjects relating to the dead 
and the mysteries of a future state. At Esn6 instances occur of 
Chnoumis with the additional title Ha, which then connects him 
with the sun, and may perhaps be an argument in support of the 
opinion I have mentioned of the early Sabaean worship of Egypt. 
To Chnoumis were given not only the ordinary horns of the 
sheep, curving downwards, but also the long projecting horns ^ 
of that animal, which, from their twisted form, being readily 
mistaken for those of the goat, have caused some difficulty 
respecting two characters in the names of the Caesars, both being 
supposed to represent the same animal, and also to stand for the 
two letters h and 8, It is, however, evident that the latter was 
the sheep or ram, siu, which had the alphabetic force of « as in 
Trajanm, and that the former was the goat, horem-pe, which was 
chosen to represent the letter & or t;, as in Tiberius, Severus, and 
Se2wistus. [The god Khnum was the deity of the waters, and the 
early character of his worship is proved by the association of his 
name with that of Khufu or Cheops, in the cartouches of that 
monarch. At the time of the 12th Dynasty, he was allied with 
the goddess Heka or Hak, and is mentioned as ^ existing ' or 
^formed at first.' He was a demiurges, and is represented at 
FhilsB as making man out of clay on a potter's wheel, and in 
many texts he is styled the builder of mankind. In connection 
with the waters he was particularly the god of the fowler who 
caught the water-fowl. While his emblem, the ram's head, ia, 
connected him with the soul or cosmic soul of the gods, his 
attributes of the solar disk and urseus allied him to the sun ; and 
in the later representation of the sun's progress though the 
hours he appears in the solar disk in the 4th and 10th hours, 
as if a personification of that luminary. He reconstructed the 
limbs of the mutilated Osiris, was father of fathers of the gods, 
making heaven, earth, hades, the streams, and hills.^ In the 
Bitual' Khnum is said to be at the wall of the house of the 

* Owing to the error respecting Amen, ' Birch, * Gallery of Antiqnitiei,* i. p. 

they haT« been the origin of the name of 10. 

the Ammonite ; and thus has this mis- » Ch. Ivii. 1. 5 ; eh. Ixiii. L 4. 

nomcr been perpetuated in stone. 

Chap. XIH.] AMEN. 9 

deceased, and to make sound his limbs. He was coloured blue 
in his celestial, and green in his chthonic character; but his 
worship, although most ancient, was localised in the south, and 
never took the range acquired by that of Amen-ra. — S. B.] 

It may appear singular that Amen should be placed second 
to Chnoumis ; I have, however, noticed them in this order, not 
from any superiority of the latter, but because he is said to have 
been the oldest deity of Upper Egypt ; and, since some alteration 
has been made in the name of the god known to us as Amen, it 
may even be supposed that in the earliest times he had not 
the same character as ijt the age of the last kings of the 18th 
Dynasty. Indeed, if Chnoumis really answered to the spirit which 
pervaded and presided over the creation, and was the same whom 
lamblichus describes from the books of Hermes, he may in justice 
claim a rank above Amen, or any other of the eight great gods. 
The alteration to which I allude is a circumstance well worthy 
of attention; and, as I have elsewhere remarked,^ has been 
observed by me on many of the oldest monuments of Egypt, 
where 'the hieroglyphics or phonetic name of Amen-ra have 
been continually substituted for others, the combinations of 
which I could never discover, being most carefully erased, and 
the name of Amen, or Amen-ra, placed in their stead. The 
figure of the god remains unaltered, as is also the case with that 
of Khem, when in the character of Ajnen-ra Generator, whose 
phonetic hieroglyphics, and not figure, have been changed. To 
make this last observation more intelligible, I must acquaint the 
reader with a fact not yet mentioned, — that Amen-ra, like most 
of the gods, frequently took the character of other deities ; as of 
Khem, Ra, and Chnoumis ; ' and even the attributes of Osiris : 
but he is then known by the hieroglyphics accompanying his 
figure, which always read Amen-ra, and therefore differ from 
those given the deities in their own character.' 

In examining the sculptures of an early period, I have found 
that, wherever the name of Amen occurs,' the substitution has 
been so systematically made, that nothing short of a general 
order to that effect sent to every part of Egypt, and executed 
with the most s<;rupulous care, can account for it ; and from this 
alteration^ being confined* to monuments erected previous to 

I * lUtcri* Hi«n>f ./ PaBtb«oii« p. 4. Mt mar be ttn on the Obelisk of 8. 

' B«t 0(111 u a member of the triad of GioTnnni Ltteraoo, at Rome. 

ydi Asms vat the chief. I hare eren * The nams Amen eiisted long befSoft. 

kim with a hawk's bead, ttjled WitseM the kings of the 17th Dynaatj. 
Ra Atav, Lard of Tkebsa.' * This has baaa sabatqaaBtlj diseorti^d 



[Chap. XUI. 

and during the reign of the third Amenophis, we may conclude 
that it dates after his accession, or about the year 1420 B.o. 
Another peculiarity is observable in the name of Amen, that the 
hieroglyphics which compose it frequently face the wrong way ; 
that isy they turn in a different direction from the rest of the 
inscription : the reason of which it is not easy to determine. 

I have stated that Amen-ra and other gods took the form of 
different deities, which, though it appears at first sight to present 
some diflSculty, may readily be accounted for when we consider 
that each of those whose figure or emblems were adopted, was 
only an emanation or deified attribute of the same great Being, 
to whom they ascribed various characters, according to the 
several oflSces He was supposed to perform. The intellect of the 
Deity might be represented with the emblems of the Almighty 
Power, or with the attributes of His goodness, without in any 
manner changing the real character of the heavenly mind they 
portrayed under that peculiar form ; and in like manner, when 
to Osiris, or the Goodness of the Deity, the emblems of Ptah the 
Creative Power were assigned, no change was made in the character 
of the former, since goodness was as much a part of the original 
Divinity from whom both were derived, as was the power with 
which He had created the world ; and if, as sometimes happens, 
Amen-ra is represented making offerings to Osiris, it will be 
recollected that one attribute might be permitted to show respect 
to another, without derogating from its own dignity, and that 
Osiris in his character of judge of Amenti, and as the object of 
the most sacred and undivulged mysteries, held a rank above all 
the gods of Egypt. 

Amen, or Amen-ra, formed with Mut and Khonsu the great 
triad of Thebes. The figure of Amen was that of a man, with a 
head-dress surmounted by two long feathers ;^ the colour of his 
body was light blue, like the Indian Vishnu, as to indicate his 
peculiarly exalted and heavenly nature ; but he was not figured 
with the head or under the form of a ram, as the Greeks and 
Bomans supposed, and the contortis eamibm Ammon is as 

to be due to the heretical worship of the 
tfun's disk introduced by the Queen Tail, 
widow of Amenophis III. The name of the 
solar disk or orb, aten, was substituted 
whererer accessible or possible for that of 
the god Amen-ra, who«e name was tried 
to be suppressed and destroyed. After the 
fall of the monarch Amenophis IV., who 
assumed the name of Khuenaten in honour 

of the solar orb, the name of Amen was 
replaced by chiselling away that of Aten. 

* Q. Curtius, speaking of the deity of 
the Oasis of Ammon, says, 'Id quod pro 
Deo colitur, non eandem effigiem habet, 
quam vulgo Diis artifices accommodavemnt, 
Umbilico tenus arieti similis est habitus, 
smaragdis et gemmis coagmentatns.' 

CJHAP.Xm.] AMEN. 11 

inapplicable to the Egyptian Jupiter as the description of the 
dog-headed Anubis to the Mercurius Psychopompos of the region 
of Amenti. He was considered by the Greeks the same as Jupiter, 
in consequence of his having the title 'King of the Gods;' and 
under the name Amen-ra he was the intellectual sun, distinct 
from Ba, the physical orb. This union of Amen and Ea cannot 
fail to call to mind the Jupiter Belus of the Assyrians, Baal or 
Belus' being the sun : and if it be true that Amunti, or Amenti, 
signified , * the giver and receiver,' the name Amen-ra may be 
opposed to Aten-ra, and signify the sun in the two capacities of 
*the receiver and giver.' As in most religions, the supreme 
Deity was represented in the noblest form that could be suggested, 
that of a human being, and Amen was therefore figured as a man, 
whom Holy Writ states to have been made after the image of his 
Creator. At Thebes, ' the King of the Gods ' may be considered 
under two distinct characters, as Amen-ra and as Amen-ra 
Generator; in this last assuming the form and attributes of 
£jhem, the god of generation. It is probable that he was then 
the same whom the Greeks styled the ^ Pan Euodos;'^ he was 
the chief of a second Theban triad, the other members of which 
were Tamen and SLarka : the former a character of Neith, and 
perhaps a sort of female Amen ; the latter the offspring of the 
first two, as Khonsu was of Amen-ra and Mut. According to 
Manetho, the word Amen^ means * concealment ;' and Hecataeus 
observes ^ that, so far from being the proper name of the god, it 
was a word in common use, signifying *come,'* by which his 
benignant influence and presence were invoked ; and lamblichus 
says, it implies ^that which brings to light, or manifestation.' 
If the observation of Manetho or of HecatsBus be true, it is not 
improbable that the name of this god was merely a mysterious 
title. The word Amoni^ signifying *to envelope' or * conceal,' 
applied in hieroglyphics to a man enveloped in a cloak, confirms 
the statement of Manetho ; as AmSini, * come,' accords with that 
of HecatsBus : and the change in the hieroglyphic legends of the 
god, and the introduction of the word Amen throughout the 
sculptures, may be explained by supposing it a title rather than 
the actual name of the deity. We are told by Herodotus,* that 
the homed snake was sacred to this deity, and buried in his 

' HANI erOAm ocean in an inscription * hidden is his name.'— S. B. 
•t the Br«ccta quarries, on the road from * Pint, de isid. s. 9. 

Contra- ATOUinopolis to Berenice, with the * The word * come,' or * come ye,' is 


temple at Thebes; but the Father of History was wrong in 
supposing the vipera cerastes to be harmless;^ and it was 
fortunate he did not prove by experience the fatal effects of its 
deadly bite. It is not unusual to find these snakes embalmed in 
the tombs of Koorna, the modern name of the Necropolis of 
Thebes, and its vicinity. The great triad of Thebes consisted of 
Amen, Mut, and Khonsu ; and though it is difficult to ascertain 
the exact character and relative offices of these three deities, 
we may suppose them to be ' demiurges, intellect,' mother, and 
created things. The oracle of Jupiter was celebrated at Thebes, 
and, according to Herodotus,^ the divine gift was imparted to a 
priestess as she slept in the temple, where the deity was also 
believed to pass the night He supposes it to have been the 
origin of the oracle of Dodona ;^ though his story of ' the women 
consecrated to the service of that deity having been carried off 
from Thebes by the Phoenicians,' is too absurd to be pardoned, 
even on his usual excuse of having received it from the Egyptian 
priests. His statement, that the 'Libyan oracle of Ammon' 
was derived from the Thebaid, is highly probable ; though he 
makes the common and unaccountable error of supposing the 
god of Thebes to have had the head of a ram,^ which has led to 
much confusion respecting the deity worshipped at Meroe. For 
to this place a procession, carrying the statue of the Theban 
Jupiter with a ram's head, is said annually to have gone from 
Thebes ; though the Jupiter of Thebes was Amen, and the great 
deity of Ethiopia the ram-headed Chnoumis. In the legends 
of Thebes, Amen has generally the title 'King of the Gods' 
accompanying his name, and these two are sometimes inserted in 
an oval, or royal cartouche, as are the names of Osiris, Isis, and 
Athor. [Amen was also considered the same as Jupiter, because 
he was the king of the gods ; and it was from his worship that 
Thebes received the name of Diospolis, * the city of Jove,' answering 
to No-Amen or Amenna of the Bible (Jer. xlvi. 25 ; Ezek. xxx. 

14-16), the Amen-6i ^jUUJJ^^ ('abode of Amen'), or Amen-ei 
Na I ■■■ f (* the great abode of Amen ' or * Amen-ei ' only ?) 

of the sculptures. Amen and Noum, having both some of the 
attributes of Jupiter, naturally became confounded by the Greeks; 
and the custom of one god occasionally receiving the attributes of 

* Lib. i. 8. 87. Diodoms is correct in ' Herodot. ii. 54, 58. 

placing it among poisonous reptiles. * Ibid. i. 182. * Ibid. ii. 42, &c. 

Chap. XUL] 


anotlLer doubtless led them into error. The greatest interchange, 
however, was between Amen and Ehem ; bat as this was onl^ at 
Thebes, and litt}e known to the Greeks, the same misappre- 
hension did not take ^Hace, and Ehem by the Greeks was only 
considered to be Paa Yet Pan again was supposed by them to 
be Menes ; and the two names of Ajnen and Amen-ra given to 
the same god, would probably have perplexed the Greeks if they 
had happened to perceive that additional title of Amen. It is, 
however, only right to say that the Ethiopians frequently gave the 
name of Amen to the ram-headed Noum, who being their greatest 
god, was to them what Jupiter was to the Greeks. — G. W.] 

[Amen-ra was also styled Lord of the Thrones of the Earth. 
The hymns to Amen-ra of the time of the 18th Dynasty describe 
him in pantheistic terms, representing him 
to be the abstract deity, and creator of men, 
animals, and plants. They idet>tify him also 
with Ehem or Asi, as the title of his mother 
and the west, and ally him in all respects to 
the sun.* The hymn inscribed to him in the 
time of Darius identifies him with Ba, Turn, and 
Osiris, apparently at a later date, and describes 
him as the supreme deity. This hymn also 
gave details of his colour and attributes, his 
bine face and gilded limbs. The gods are said 
to emanate from him.* 

A bronze statuette of an unnsnal type 
of tius god is in the Museum of Liverpool. 
He is represented with features resembling 
those of the god Bes, standing, the left foot 
advanced, wearing on his head a reeded conical 
cap, and raising a mace in his right hand. 
It has a foreign appearance, as if imitated from 
that of a god not of Egyptian origin. Hound 
the pedestal is an inscription : ' The speech of ""■ '"" 
Amen, the slayer of enemies, great god, giver of life and health : 
A long life and good old age to Nesaptah, son of Uumuamen,' 
the donor, * bom of Penneter.' As the inscription is partly in 
the later or so-called secret alphabet, this type is certainly not 
older than the 22nd Dynasty. A series of the mystical names 

Un Dnul tTpc of JlBini-n. 

' GrjViBBt, ' Rjmnt 1 ^mnion-IU,' 8io, the ' Bfcordi of the Put,' vol. yf. p. 97. 
Vuit, 1875. Goodwill, fljnm ^g j^tn, \a ' ' Record, of Um P»t,' toI. tUL p. 135. 


Chap. XUIJ PTAH. 15 

of Amen-rSy in the language of the Negroes of the land of Kens 
or Nubia, is given in the Ritual.^ — S. B.] 

Ptah, or in the Memphitic dialect Phthah,' was the demiurgos, 
or creative power of the Deity; Uhe artisan/ as lamblichus 
styles him, ^and leader of mundane artisans, or the heavenly 
gods.' The same author gives a singular confirmation of the 
iact^ as I have elsewhere observed,^ of the goddess, who bears on 
her head a single ostrich feather, being Justice or Truth ; which 
I shall have occasion more fully to notice in speaking of that 
divinity. In the sculptures of Thebes, we find Ptah not only 
accompanied by her, but bearing the title ' Lord of Trvih^ in 
his hieroglyphic legend ; and lamblichus, who calls ' the artisan 
Intellect the Lord of Truth,' observes, ' that whereas he makes 
all things in a perfect manner, not deceptively, but artificially, 
toffeiher with TrtUhy he is called Ptah,' though the Greeks 
denominate him Hephaestus, considering him merely as a 
physical or artificial agent. 

' Ptah is then the Lord of Truth, which was itself deified 
under the form of the above-mentioned goddess ; and the con- 
nection between the Creative Power and truth is a singular 
coincidence in the Egyptian and Christian systems. He was 
said to be sprung from an egg, produced from the mouth of 
Neph, who was therefore considered his father.' At least, this 
is the account given by Porphyry, though the monuments of 
Egypt do not tend to confirm it, nor does his description of the 
form of that god agree with the ram-headed Chnoumis of the 
Egyptians. * The scarabfeus, or beetle, was particularly sacred 
to him, and signified the world, or all creation ;^ and in con- 
sequence of there being, as Plutarch' says, " no females of this 
species, but all males, they were considered fit types of the 
Creative Power, self-acting and self-sufficient." The beetle was 
also an emblem of the sun, being chosen, according to Horapollo,* 
** from its having thirty fingers, equal to the number of days in 
an (ordinary solar) month ; " and the frog was another symbol of 
Pub, because, as Horapollo says, ^ it was the representative of 
man in embryo," that is, of the being who, like the world, was 
the work of the Creative Power, and the noblest production 
of His hands. There are other characters of Ptah, as Ptah- 

* LtfwM, ' TodUBbach,' lixvii. Ixxrui^ * Conf. H»rapollo, {. 12. 
c l€\ 1<I4. * I'lot d<* Itid. n. lu 

' la €»rMk« ♦•A. * Horapollo, Hierog. i. 10; «od Porphjrj 

• * Jfataru Ukrof V PaailMoa, p. 7. taji, * Cantbarum Soli accommod«tiun,* 


SochariB-Osiris and Ptah Cheper; but since they are represented 
by the Egyptians as different and separate divinities, I have 
thoaght it better to keep them apart from the god of whom 
they were, perhaps, originally emanations/^ and treat of them 
as distinct deities. It is also possible that to Ptah, the Creative 
Power, were ascribed four or more different offices, each being a 
separate form of that deity, as, 1st, the creator of the universe 
generally ; 2nd, the creator of the world we inhabit ; 3rd, the 
creator of all animal and vegetable life; and, 4th, the creator 
of mankind. 

The Greeks, as I have already stated, considered the Ptah 
of Egypt the same as their Vulcan or Hephaestus, and it is more 
than probable that their idea of this deity was derived from the 
demiurgos in the Egyptian Pantheon ; the error they made in 
the character of the opifex, or framer of the world, proceeding 
from their degrading him to the level of a mere physical agent, 
as lamblichus has very properly remarked. According to Cicero, 
there were several deities who bore the name of Vulcan, and one 
was reputed to be the son of the Nile, from which *we may infer 
his Egyptian origin. The Greek name, according to Phumutus, 
is supposed to have been taken from hephthai,^ signifying ' to 
bum;' and other etymologies have been offered by various 
writers : but the word Hephaestus, and still more the derivation 
suggested by Phumutus, sufficiently indicate the real root of the 
name in the Egyptian Ptah. 

The form of this deity is generally a mummy, not holding 
in his hands the fiagellum and crook of Osiris, but merely the 
emblems of life and stability, with the staff of purity ; which last 
is common to all the gods, and to many of the goddesses, of 
Egypt. The absence of the flagellum and crook serves to dis- 
tinguish him from another deity ,^ Ehonsu, the third member of 
the Theban triad, even when his hieroglyphical name is wanting ; 
and this last has, in addition, a disk and crescent, or short horns, 
on his head, which are not given either to Ptah or Osiris. The 
ordinary head-dress of Ptah, when in the form of a mummy, is 
a close cap without any ornament ; but he occasionally wears a 
disk with the lofty ostrich feathers of Osiris, and holds in each 

» The passages between inverted commas word Ptahy or PafeiA, * to open/ in the sense 

are extracted from my * Materia Hierogly- of* builder, constrnctor, sculptor.' (Brugsch, 

phica.' « Gesch. Aegypt.,* 8vo, Leipzig, 1877, p. 30. 

* &ir^ rov liipBoi, [This is, like most of —8. B.] 

the Greek explanations, erroneous, as the ' I have found one instance of Ptah 

name, of the god is the same as the Egyptian with the flagellum and crook. 

€^AF. xm.] 



hand a staff of parity, in lien of the emblems of stability and 
life. The sculptures of the tombs also represent Ptah bearing 
on his heady or clad in, the symbol of stability, which is 
occasionally given to Osiris; showing how closely he is some- 
times allied to the character of that deity. Ptah even appears 
under the entire form of this emblem, which is surmounted by a 
winged scarabseus supporting a globe, or sun, and is itself supported 
by the arms of a man kneeling on the heavens. 
I have also met with an instance of the god^ 
occupied in drawing with a pen the figure of 
Harpocrates, the emblem of youth ; probably an 
allusion to the idea first formed in the mind of 
the Creator of the being he was about to make.' 
[Ptah was worshipped with particular honours at 
Memphis, and he held a distinguished position in 
all the temples throughout Egypt. — 6. W.] 

[This god represented one of the great demi- 
urgi, and is one of the oldest of Egyptian gods, 
his name appearing on the monuments of the 4th 
Dynasty. At a later period he is mentioned as 
the Creator. He was the father of the gods, and 
the hymns describe the gods as coming out of 
his eye and men out of his mouth. At Denderah 
he is said to be 'the master of the company of the 
gods, who has formed beings, and that all things came after him, 
the lord of truth and king of the gods.' Other inscriptions de- 
scribe him as creating beings, and making men and gods with 
his hands, or the father of beginnings, who has made the egg of 
the sun and moon. Another of his names was Tanen. In the 
Xemphite list he is the first king of primordial Egypt, and as 
such his name appears in a cartouche, while his title, the Southern 
Rampart, or wall, connects him with the city of Memphis, and 
its name, Ptah-ka City, connects him with the Pataikos.' — S. B.] 

Ptah-Socharis-Osiris was that form of Ptah, or Vulcan, par- 
ticalarly worshipped at Memphis. Herodotus^ describes him 
as a pigmy figure, resembling the Pataikos,* placed by the 

Pub imder Um fmn 

Mo. «tT. 

> PUU XX^fg. &. Puh is aloM iatro- 
4mctd m tW fUU. It b fron DMa«r«h. 

If M, thtf btlUT«d tW first muk to 
bis earsvr in c«rlj jontk, 
ast ■• • fall-frowm man; liks Japit«r, 
B«rnU«Bi. •md etlMr of tb« gods of GrMot. 

• •Qalkry of Aatftsaltks,* i. pp. IS, U; 
Bn«Kk, « GosdOckU Asf7pt.,> aa-^K. 

rou in. 

« Herodot. iU. 37. 

* [Pttailtos sMms to be the Efjptiaa 
luuBM Ftb«b or l*tah, tbe bard A being 
made into k hj tbe Greeks, m tbat letter 
BOW so often is bj tbe modem Greeks, 
wben tbe J write or pronounot it in Armbic, 
— O. W.] 

Cuir. XUL] FTAH-SOCHAItia-OSnua 19 

Phoenicians at tbe prow8 of their ressels; and says that Cambyses, 
on entering the temple at Memphis, ridiculed the contemptible 
appearance of the Egyptian Hepbsstos. Representations of 
this dwarf deity are frequently met with at 
Kemphis and the vicinity; and it appears 
that dwarfs and deformed persons were held 
in ocmaideration in this part of Egypt, out 
of respect to the deity of the place. He 
Qsnally has a scarikbeuB, his emblem, on 
his head; he sometimes holds the crook and 
flagellnm of Osiris; and he frequently ap> 
peats with a hawk's head, both when wor- 
shipped in the temples, and when placed on 
the sarcophagi of the dead. I have even 
seen the lids of coftins at Memphis formed 
in the shape of this god. The necklace, 
whose two extremities are surmounted by a , 
hawk's head, pecnliarly belonged to Ptah- 
Socharis; and it is not impossible that bis name Sekari' may 
be derived from the. hawk. Bat this is merely a conjecture. 
Besides tbe searalNous and hawk, the capricom also belonged 
to him, and the prow of his boat or ark was ornamented with the 
head of that animal. The ceremony of bearing this boat in 
•olemn procession was one of tbe most important of all the rites 
ptactised by tbe Egyptians ; and the sanctity with which it was 
legmided by the whole country is suSBciently indicated by tbe 
conspicuous place it held in the temples of Thebes. Indeed, I 
believe that it was nothing less than the hearse of Osiris, and 
that this procession recorded the funeral of that mysterious 
deity ; a conjecture strongly confirmed by tbe frequent occur- 
rence of the hawk-beaded figure and name Socharis-Osiris tu 
those sculptures at Pbilie which represent his apotheosis, or 
rather his return from this world to that state, whence be bad 
come to manifest himself for the benefit of mankind. It is, 
perhaps, to this funeral ceremony that Athenagoras alludes, 
when he says, ' They not only show tbe sepulchre of Osiris, but 
«Ten his embalmed body.' The deity, under the form of Sekari, 
it also carried forth by tbe four genii of Amenti, in the same 
chamber at Phils; where be appears to have jmssed through 
this intermediate state, previous to his assuming his final office 

■ Tka EcTptiM fad Xfx^fUi BMBtii>B«l ia * nn* of CntiDiu, U, m V. ChtapoUioi 


of judge of the dead ; and his body being placed on a bier, 
within the some boat or ark, seems to leave no doubt respecting 
the truth of my conjecture.' [These types of Ptah do not appear 
in the sculptures till a later period, and one of the varieties 
represents him with two heads, one human, the other that of a 
hawk having a disk and plumes. The texts here ally him to the 
sun. The rubrics speak of him as having the hawk's head and 
plumes, and raising the arm holding a whip,^ and as a dwarf or 
pigmy. The type is foetal. — S. B.] The deformed figure of this 
god probably gave rise to the fable of the lameness of Vulcan in 
the Greek mythology, who is represented to have been thrown 
from heaven by Jupiter, and to have broken his leg in falling 

upon the Isle of Lemnos. Ftah-Socharis-Osiris is sometimes 
seated, attended by Isis, ' the potent mother-goddess,' who pro- 
tects him with her wings ; he is then more closely connected 
with Osiris than Ptah, of which two deities be unites the 
characters. He is frequently styled Socharis-Osiris withowi the 
prefix Ptah; and it appears that he Is then more particularly 
connected with the passage of Osiris from this life to another 
state, and his mysterious return from his human to his divine 

Xeper, or Kheper, is another form of Ptah, to whom in this 
character also the scarabEeus was particularly sacred. It stands 
for the syllable of his name, and may be emblematic of his office 
as creator of the world, of which this insect was the type. He 

' Bvjol Soc af Lm pUtM 6B ud B9. ' Lep«iiu, 'Todt.' liiifliL c 184, IL 13, 14, 

Chat. Xm.] 



WM aometimea represented with the acarabieus, in lien of a bead, 
either with closed or outspread wings ; but his usual form was a 
human figure with the head of a man, wearing the globe of the 
son, and an asp, the emblem of kingly or divine majesty.' 

Kfc htlwr a( ibi bthn o( Ika |D 

The fn^-headed deity, Ea or Batrachocephalus, is also a form 
ot Ptab, particularly in reference to his creation of man. Hora- 
poUo tella ufl that ' man in embryo was represented by a frog,' 
and it was therefore considered a fit symbol to form the base of 
the palm branch of years, held by Thoth, as the deity who super- 
intended the life of man. The arms in the hieroglyphic legend 
of the god Batrachocephalus, also connect him with this notion ; 
they recall the figure illustrative of human life which bo fre- 
quently occurs on the monuments, and a man with arms on bis 
bead is sometimes given as an emblem of Ptab. 

Of the peculiar office of the batrachocephalic goddess, I am 

m nti\j ■ mUt Ijpc AcconUnf t. 

rcprtMntcd tha nocturnal 



[Chap. Xm. 

ignorant. She has a frog's head, without the scarabsBiig of the 
former deity ; and it is probable that she is only aa emanation 
of Ptah, or in a subordinate capacity among the genii, or lower 
order of gods. [Thia goddess in the 
12th Dynasty was worshipped along 
with the god Ehnnm or Chnonmis, and 
in the representations of the four ele- 
ments symbolises the female principle 
of water.— S. B.] 

E.hem,' the generative principle, 
particularly worshipped at Chenunis 
or Fanopolis, and, according to the 
evidence of Diodorus * and the scalp 
tores, ' treated with marked rererence 
by all the Egyptians,' was another of 
the deified attributes of the Almighty 
Founder of the aniverse, and, as Hero- 
dotus justly observes, one of the eight 
great gods. His office was not con- 
fined to the procreation and continua- 
tion of the human species, but extended 
even to the vegetable world, over which 
he presided ; whence we find his statue 
accompanied by trees and plants, and 
kings offering to him the herbs of the 
ground, cutting the com before him, 
or employed in his presence tilling 
the land, and preparing it to receive the generating influence 
of the deity. It was from this circumstance that the Greeks 
and Bomans assigned to Friapus the office of presiding' over 
their gardens ;' and the idea of his frightening away thieves 
with his right hand* was probably derived from the flagellum 
placed over the uplifted arm of the Egyptian Khem.* It is also 
possible that the Hermes figures, placed on the public roads, 
were borrowed from one of the mummy-formed gods of Egypt. 

I ProDaanced Kh4ii]. 

■ Dlodor. L 18. 

* Hor. Epod, ii. 17. A lignrc of Priaput, 
rogrsTrd by Boiiurt, hu tbii iD*criptiDD, 
* HortorDm coatodi, Tjgjll, coDHmtori pro- 
paginia TiUicorum.' BaDier, Mjth. It. 

1. 453. 
• Hor. Sat. I. 

ill. 3. 
e of tbU god bM b««ii ti 

oatij read u Xtm nnd Min, but aoma lUtlj 
ditcoTtttd TBiiaati glre it aa Amil. In 
woodcut So. &D1 ■ king veariag the ktef 
ii repreaent«d aa ploughing or hoeing the 
ground before him. The T«riou» inscrip- 
tioDi from Tariona placea gire hia titles : 
I. Amai-Ameii, title of mother. 2. Amai 
or Khem, aon of Ui). b. Bull of bi« 
mother, Uioe of tho san. — S. B. 

Chap. XTTI.] 



All statues in Greece, before the time of Daedalus, were similarly 
rude imitations of the human figure, the legs being united, and 
the arms attached to the body ; but we may reasonably suppose 
that some other reason beyond the mere 
retention of ancient custom induced them 
to give to these statues alone so remarkable 
a form ; and it is evident that the Hermes 
figures bear a stronger resemblance to the 
£^yptian mummy than to a statue of the 
ancient Greek style. From their name, it 
might be inferred that they were peculiar 
to the god Mercury ; but ihis depended on 
the head they bore : those with the face 
of Apollo being styled Hermapollos; of 
Minerra, Hermathenas ; and others, accord- 
ing to their respectiye combinations. The 
Hermes figure was therefore the exclusive 
name given to statues of a peculiar form, 
and not to those of Mercury alone. For, 
besides the fact of the latter being repre- 
sented in a perfect form like the other gods, we find from Cicero 
that these Hermes statues were forbidden to be erected upon a 
tomb, which would seem to be the most appropriate situation for 
a figure of Mercury, the deity to whom the care of the dead was 
particularly confided. 

In one of several groups of hieroglyphics signifying * Egypt,' 
a tree is introduced as the symbol of that country ; but whether 
any peculiar tree was sacred to the god Khem, or its name re- 
sembled the word * Chemi,' Egypt, I will not pretend to decide ; 
trees of the same form as that occurring in the name of Egypt ^ 
accompany the shrine of the god,^ and they may be emblems 
both of the country and of the deity whose name it bore.^ For 
Egypt was denominated * Chemi, Khemi, or the land of Ham,' 
as we find in the hieroglyphic legends ; and the city of Ehem, 
or Panopolis, was called in Egyptian Chemmo, of which evident 
traces are preserved in that of the modem town E'Khmim.^ 
Indeed, the name of the god appears from the hieroglyphics to 

Sepulchnl figure of Ptah- 
SocbArU-Oeirlfl, used as box 
for holdiog mummied ot^ects. 

No. 60S. 

^ See the RoeeiU Stone. 

* Woodcut No. 504. 

* The tree U the sycamore, Neha ; Egypt 
being cmlled amongst other titles the land 
of the sjcamore.~-S. B. 

* It U singular that this town shoald 

have had the name given to the whole 
country of Khemi; and another, Coptos, 
Koft or Kebt, have retained that of 
Egypt, which is Qypt with a prefixed 
letter or diphthong. 



[Chap, xnt 

h&ve been Ctiemmo or Ehemo ; and when in the character of 
Amen-ra Generator, the title of Ehemo is added to that of Amen. 
Plutarch says* that 'the leaf of the fig-tree represented both 
their king Osiris as well as their nstiTe country;' and it is 
possible that this notion was founded upon the circumstance of 
the fig-tree itoelf being the symbol of Egypt : but from what 
he afterwards says of the Friapean chaxactw of Osiris, we may 


1,1. 'lad, AmNt-ka-ninlal.' s. ■ Jjwi, »ii of Iili.' i. ■ AmiUn, lard of ■ ■ ■ .' s. ■ Ktmolir, 
Ihu at Iha Son.' 

conclude he has confounded that deity with the god Ehem. If 
this be true, the tree abore mentioned may be the fig, or more 
probably the Fieu» syoamorut ; and the conventional form 
adopted by the Egyptians for this and all trees, excepting the 
palm, dom, pomegranate, and a few others, appears to justify 
this conjecture. The sycamore was particularly sacred to the 
goddess Nut, as the Persea to Athor ;' but these I shall have 
occasion to mention hereafter. 

■ Plot, da i^. 1. as. 

Chap. Xm.] HAM— KHEM— MIZRAIM. 25 

The assertion of Herodotus,^ that the Egyptians represented 
the god Pan, like the Greeks, with the head and legs of a goat, 
applies neither to the god Khem, nor to any other deity in 
the Egyptian Pantheon, and is as little worthy of credit as the 
statement he afterwards makes respecting an occurrence in 
the Mendesian nome ; where he also states that ^ the goat and the 
god Pan both have the name Mendes in the Egyptian language.' 
The description of the god worshipped at Panopolis, given by 
Stephanas of Byzantium,^ accords exactly with the Egyptian 
Pan, or Khem, which the learned Prichard has supposed to be 
' Osiris or Horns ;' and it is Khem, and not blendes, to whom 
belong the attributes of the god of generation. The Hebrew 
word Ham is identical with the Egyptian Ehem, being properly 
written Khm^ Kham, or Khem; and is the same which the 
Egyptians themselves gave to their country, in the sculptures 
ci the earliest and latest periods. The Bible also applies to 
Egypt the name of 3Iizraim, or Mitzrim, a dual or plural word, 
which, as I have before observed, seems to refer to the two 
regions of Egypt, the Upper and Lower Country, over which the 
Pharaohs are always said in their regal titles to hold dominion. 
It is, however, remarkable that the word itself does not occur in 
hieroglyphics, though traced in the modem name Musr or Misr, 
by which both Cairo and Egypt are known at this day. Ac- 
cording to the Scriptural account^ of the peopling of the world 
by the sons of Noah, it appears that Ham or Khem colonised 
the lands of Cush (Ethiopia), Mizraim (Tjower Egypt and the 
Thebaid), Phut or Libya, and Canaan (Syria); the four being 
mentioned as 'sons of Ham ;' which may refer to the migration 
of an Asiatic tribe to those countries, and tend to confirm my 
opinion respecting the Oriental origin of the inhabitants of the 
valley of the Nile. Ham or Khem may have been the original 
name of that tribe which settled in the two districts called 
Mizraim ; and the Egyptians may have retained the appellation 
which they had as conquerors, in preference to that of the 
country they occupied. The progeny of Cush is equally re- 
uarkable. Cush^ is the name of Ethiopia, both in Scripture 
and in the hieroglyphics of the earliest periods ; and was applied 
to that country lying above the Second Cataract,* inhabited, 

* H«rodot. ii. 46. Iik« th« worl Ethiopiii. 

« rrickard, p. 120. • Tirhakiih wm king of Coih (2 KiDft 

' G«m. B. 6. xii. 9). The capitiil of Tirhiikah't dominioa 

* !• Hebrew it tifj^ttifiM * bUckntM ; ' wm at El Berkel the ADcient Nupata. Sol* 
•pplitd to * tb« bUck cnoatry/ pi tins Sertrof calls him Tirchac. 


as at present, by a copper-coloured race. After the Bible has 
enumerated the sons of Gush, it mentions an offset in Nimrod, 
who founded the kingdom of ' Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and 
Calneh in the land of Shinar/ ^ from which country the Assyrian 
founders of Nineveh emigrated. This connection between an 
African and Asiatic Ethiopian race is the more remarkable, as 
the same is noticed by profane writers : the Ethiopian Memnon 
was said^ to be a general of Teutamis, the twenty-first king of 
Assyria after Semiramis, and to have been sent with a force of 
10,000 Ethiopians, and the same number of Susians, to assist 
Priam, when Troy was besieged ; and the Cushites of Africa are 
also called Ethiopians. 

To the god Khem the Egyptians dedicated their exyotos in 
the quarries of the Kossayr road ; nor were temples and votive 
inscriptions put up in honour of Sarapis till the time of the 
Bomans, and in a few instances during the reigns of the Ptolemaic 
kings. In the Greek exvotos he is styled the 'Pan Euodos,' 
but the hieroglyphic inscriptions have not the title Amen-ra, 
though it is probable that in this character he was the same as 
Amen-ra Generator. I should not be surprised to find that the 
name of Ehem was that for which Amen-ra was substituted ; in 
which case, these would be two characters of Ehem, instead of 
Amen-ra. Either this may have been the case, or the original 
legend may have contained a name of the deity, which in after- 
times was deemed too sacred to be exposed to the eyes of the 
profane, when the uninitiated had become acquainted with the 
previously occult meaning of hieroglyphic writing. 

Khem was considered the generating influence of the sun, 
whence perhaps the reason of his being connected with Amen-ra : 
and in one of the hieroglyphic legends accompanying his name 
he is styled the sun ; that is, the procreating power of the only 
source of warmth, which assists in the continuation of the various 
created species. I have twice found hieroglyphic legends stating 
him to be ' engendered by the sun,' and in another he is called 
the ' son of Isis,' which might seem to deny him a place among 
the eight great gods ; but these may refer to a distinct o£Sce he 
was supposed to bear on some occasions ; and his intimate con- 
nection with Amen-ra fully establishes his claim to the rank 
Herodotus has given him in the Egyptian Pantheon.^ ' The 
Greeks,' says the historian, 'consider Hercules, Bacchus, and 

^ Gen. X. 8, 10. * Diodor. ii. 22. * Herodot. ii. 145. 

Chaf. Xm.] THBTPHia 27 

Pan as the most modem of their gods ; the Egyptians, on the 
contrary, look upon Pan as Tery ancient, holding a rank among 
the firat eight deities ; Hercnles they place in the number of the 
twelve, called the second order ; and Bacchus ranks with those 
of the third order, who are engendered by the twelve.' 

It is not improbable, then, that Khem was also considered by 
the Egyptians the generating principle of nature itself ; and this 
will accord with the idea they entertained of his extending his 
immediate influence over all the animal and vegetable world. 
On the Eossayr road I have met with a tablet in which the god 
Khem is represented as a hawk, with human legs, and an arm 
holding up the usual fiagellum, his head crowned with the long 
feathers of Amen ; but this is an unusual form of the deity, and 
of uncertain date. Thriphis was the favourite and contemplar 
companion of Ehem, as well at Panopolis as in the temple of 
Athribis or Crocodilopolis, whose ruins are still seen to the west- 
ward of Soohag. She appears to be one of the goddesses re- 
presented with a lion's head ; but I have been unable exactly to 
ascertain her attributes and office. The Greek inscription at 
Athribis ' designates the town by the same name, Thriphis. It 
is still called by the Arabs Atrib, and by the Copts Athrebi ; 
and the honours with which the goddess was there worshipped 
may be inferred from the dimensions of her temple, 200 feet in 
length and 175 in breadth. Part of the inscription is lost, but 
may be easily restored ; and the name of the emperor mentioned 
in it occurs also in the hieroglyphics, which on the other face of 
the same architrave present the ovals of Tiberius Claudius Cicsar 
Germanicus. In the Greek is the name of the Empress Julia, 
the widow of Agrippa and daughter of Augustus, with the date 
of the ninth or fifth year of Tiberius, which shows that her death 
oould not have happened as early as is generally supposed.^ 
The dedication to 'the most great ffoddesi Thriphis,' and the 
mention of ' ApoUonius, prefect of the city of Thriphis,' show 
them both to have borne the same name ; as the ovals of Ptolemy 
the eldest son of Auletes, which occur in another part of the 
building, prove that the foundation of the temple dated before 
the empin%and that the inscri[ition of Ti)>erius was only attached 
to repairs or additions made during hi^ reign. The Greek 

> TIm Arab tmUtioa, mtatioDwi bjr Ui« ' [Siact thu wm written I End tkiit, 

kutofiaa llacrisi, of tb« four loiu of according to Letrunne, this wm not JulU 

Mixrmim. OtbaiiB, AtrA^ Sa, Koft, U, Augiuta, «Uught«r of Augustus, but JalU, 

liA« BMj otb^n wbich aboimd in Cgjpt, who, aAcr the death of Augustas, took ibt 

U aeeottBt lor iko aaiiiot of citm. Bamt of Jolia Augiuia.— O. W.] 


inscription at Panopolis is of the time of Trajan. It has the 
date of his twelfth year, and mentions Pan and Thriphis as 
the chief deities of the place. The story of Pan having been the 
lieutenant-general of Osiris, in his Indian expedition, and by the 
fright he caused to the enemy haying given rise to the expression 
^ Panic terrors/ is an idle legend, which, too, cannot apply to the 
Pan of Egypt. It is mentioned by Plutarch and Polyenus. 

[This deity is supposed to represent in himself the double 
part of father and son, connected with Amen-ra, and perhaps 
Osiris as the title of his mother ; at the same time he appears 
as the Har nekhiy * powerful Horus,' or Horns the son of Isis. 
He symbolises the productive power of nature, and figures are 
occasionally found of him made of barley. He was an ancient 
god, appearing in the oldest chapters of the Ritual. ' I am Khem,* 
one passage says in his proceeding.^ Titere are two plumes on 
his head. ^ Khem,' says the esoterical explanation, ' is the saviour 
of his father,' and Horus the son of Isis. * His proceeding ' is ^ his 
birth.' The plumes on his head are Isis and Nephthys. There 
are the two hawk feathers on his head, placed upon him ; they are 
as two birds ; they are firm on his head ; or they are the great 
uraei in front of his father Tum, * or his «yes are the plumes 
on his head.' He is also called ' Khem the king, the powerful 
Horus,' an allusion still closer described as ' I am Khem, the 
Horus saviour of his father, the substance of his father Unnefer,' 
Onnophis or Osiris. The festival of his procession or manifesta- 
tion is mentioned at the earliest period, and celebrated with the 
highest honours at Medeenet Haboo, in the month Tybi, of which 
he was the eponym. — S. B.] 

The goddess Sati, or Juno, always accompanies Chnoumis in 
the exvotos at the Cataracts of Syene and the Island of Sehayl ; 
where she forms the second member of a triad composed of Chnou- 
mis, Sati, and An6uqa. This triad frequently occurs on different 
monuments in the vicinity of Syene, it being customary for every 
town to assign a conspicuous post in their temples to the chief 
deities and to the peculiar triad, worshipped by their neighbours, 
as a mark of respect not only to the gods, but to the inhabitants 
of the adjoining districts. And the general adoration paid to 
the principal member of this triad throughout Nubia readily 
accounts for its constant occurrence in the temples between the 
First and Second Cataracts. At Dakkeh, the manner in which it 

> Pierret, 'Diet. d'Aot. figypt.,' p. 290. 1. 2; c 125, 11. 15, 60; c 142, 1. 60; c. 
Lepsins, • Todtenbuch,' c 17, L 11 ; c 124, 145, L 75 ; g. 148, L 2 ; c 149, 1. 3. 

Chap. XHI.] SATI, OR JUNO. 29 

is mentioned oyer one of the doors is remarkable ; the Ethiopian 
King Ergamnn being styled, on one side, ' Son of Neph, bom 
of Satiy nursed by An6uqa,' and on the other, ^ Son of Osiris, 
bom of Isis, nursed by Nephthys.* 

The Island of Sehayl was formerly ealled S^te, a name not 
unlike that of the Egyptian Juno; and a Greek inscription 
there mentions the dedication of a temple to the aboTe-mentioned 
triad. In another, inscribed upon a column at the granite 
quarries of Caracalla, near Syene, Jupiter-Hammon-Cenubis and 
Juno are said to preside over the hill near whose summit it was 
erected ; but these would not have been sufScient to identify the 
goddess, had not the sculptures presented the name of an arrow, 
which, piercing a standard, forms her hieroglyphics, written in 
phonetic characters, and expressing the word Sati. Horapollo 
afiBrms that Juno, Sati,^ presided oyer the lower part of heayen, 
and Neith, Athene, oyer the upper hemisphere : but it is pos- 
sible that he may haye confounded Neith with Nut; though 
some confirmation of his remark may be deriyed from the fact 
of the cap wom by Neith signifying, in hieroglyphics, * Upper 
Egypt,' and that of Sati, the * Lower Country/ Horapollo is 
fully home out by the hieroglyphics in what he afterwards 
says, — that 'the Egyptians think it absurd to designate the 
heayen in the masculine, but represent it in the feminine, inas- 
much as the generation of the sun and moon and the rest of the 
stars is perfected in it, which is the peculiar property of a 
female.' * 

The marriage of Jupiter with his sister Juno, in Greek 
mythology, was probably deriyed from the story of Osiris and 
Isis, who were also brother and sister and the children of Seb, 
considered by the Greeks the same as Saturn ; but the confusion 
caused by their judging of the identity of their own and the 
Egyptian deities from casual analogies is so great, that to 
Jupiter alone are attributed legendary tales taken from Amen, 
Chnoumis and Osiris. The statues of the Greek Juno were not 
always confined to one particular form ; and to that goddess were 
sometimes giyen the attributes of Pallas, of Diana, of Yenus, of 
Nemesis, of the Fates, and other diyinities. In this respect they 
resembled many of the deities of Egypt, who, as already obseryed, 
borrowed each other's attributes, and could only then be recog- 
nised by the hieroglyphic legend placed aboye them. 

The goddess Sati does not appear to haye played so important 

1 Horapollo, L 11. 


a part in Egyptian mythology as the Juno of Greece. Nor will 
I pretend to decide if she presided over marriages : and little is 
known of her from the accounts of ancient writers. Diodoms/ 
Horapollo, and some other authors merely make a cursory 
mention of the Egyptian Juno, and little dependence can be 
placed on what Manetho relates concerning her. According to 
Porphyry,* the priest of Sebennytus states that three men were 
daily sacrificed to the Juno of Egypt, after having been examined 
like the clean calves chosen for the altar ; which ceremony was 
abolished by order of Amosis. And to this Plutarch alludes,' 
when he says, * We are informed by Manetho, that they were 
formerly wont, in the city of Idithya,* to bum men alive, 
giving them the name of Typhos, and winnowing their ashes 
through a sieve : which sacrifices were performed in public, and 
at a stated season of the year, — in the dog-days.' If, indeed, 
this were ever the case, it could only have been at a very remote 
period, long before the Egyptians were the civilised nation we 
know them from their monuments, as I shall have occasion to 
show in treating of the sacrifices. 

According to Herodotus, the great goddesses of Egypt were 
Neith — Minerva, Bute— Latona, Bubastis — Diana, and Ws; 
the Greeks having become acquainted with their names, from 
being worshipped in Lower Egypt ; and to their ignorance of the 
deities of the Theb^'d may be attributed their silence respecting 
Mut, the great goddess of Thebes, and Sati, the second member 
of the triad of Elephantine. 

Sati was represented as a female figure, wearing on her head 
the cap or crown of the Upper Country, from which projected the 
horns of a cow ; and in her hand she holds the usual sceptre of 
the Egyptian goddesses. Another goddess appears also to lay 
claim to the name of Sati; but her form and character differ 
from those of the Egyptian Juno ; and she seems rather to repre- 
sent the western bank of the Nile. From her occurring 
frequently in tombs, it is probable that she had some o£Sce in 
Amenti. Indeed, the evident connection, and the similarity in 
the name, of Amenti, * the lower regions,' and Ement, * the west,* 
are remarkable ; and the idea of the end of the world being in 
the west, as its commencement in the east, is thus noticed by 
Plutarch. The Egyptians make ^ a sacred dirge or lamentation 
over Osiris, bewailing him who was bom on the right side of the 

» Diodor. i. 13, 15. « Porphyr. de AUt. ii. 55. » Plut. de hid. s. 73. 

* Probably Ilethyi or Eileithyis, the city of LucinA, a title given to the Greek Juno. 

CuF. XUI.] 


world, and who periabed on the left For it must be observed 
that the Egyptians look upon the east as the front or face of the 
world, npon the north as ita right aide, and npon the south aa 
ita left*' 

The goddess Mat,' or Tman, was the second member of the 
Theban triad. Her name signi- 
fies ' mother ;' and though many 
dirinities, as Isis, Nut, and 
others, have the title ' Mother- 
goddess,' the name Mat was 
peculiarly applied to the one 
before ua, who may with mach 
reason be supposed to represent 
in this capacity Nature, the 
mother of alL From the pre- 
tence of the vulture in her 
hieruglyphics, she has been 
ioppoaed the same as Neitb 
(Minerva); but that bird is 
merely a pbonetio character 
signifying ' mother,' and not an 
emblem of the goddess herself. 
For the vultore, aa Horapollo 
observe*,* being the peculiar 
type of a female and of mater- 
nity, 'the Egyptians, when- 
ever they wiah to designate a 
mother, represent this bird.' 

Some may be disposed to iden- _ 

tify her »ith Buto,* the Latona "■««'' "»k^ 
at Egypt, and imagine that the name she bears refers to the office 
■he beU in the creation of the world, or to her duties as nurae of 
Horoa. Some indeed have confonnded Buto with Minerva, who 
■as said to have been the tutor of Bacchus.* 

The oracle of Buto was one of the most celebrated in the 
«orld, and the hononrs rendered this goddess by the Egyptians 
■«re doubtless very great, since, as Herodotus states, they had 

> Plst. d* tiii. L 33. TIm Anla call 
lb Hvtk tb* ltd, bciDi OB tbtir left u 
tkn ioqt towuxli Uu mti, or towuil* 

■ Or Ma, I bdu tb« baittle iln. 

• Tha itoildti* Ual ii 
BatiL AlthoBili a trparalt Keddcii, aba ia 
nlifiol with Uut, aa Id wood. 
K.<. bOS, mhtn Uot ■• callad >1hi Ual. 


greater veneration for her oracle than for that of any "other deity.* 
'It is consecrated to her/ says the historian,^ 'in a large city 
(also called Buto) situated near the Sebennytic mouth of the 
Nile. You pass it in going from the sea by that branch of the 
river. It contains several temples ; — of Apollo, of Diana, and of 
Latona. In this last the oracles are delivered. It is of very 
great size, having porticoes 10 orgyai (fathoms) in height But 
of all that I observed within the enclosure sacred to Latona, the 
chapel of the goddess caused me the greatest surprise. Its sides 
are of a single stone, sqtiare both ways, measuring in length 
and breadth 40 cubits ; and another block, whose thickness is 
4 cubits, forms the roof. Nothing, in fact, in the whole of this 
consecrated spot is more worthy of admiration. Next to this is 
the Isle of Chemmis, situated in a deep and spacious lake near 
the temple of Latona at Buto. According to the Egyptians, it is 
a floating island ; but I confess I neither saw it float, nor even 
move, and I was much surprised to hear that any islands did 
float In it is a large chapel of Apollo, with three altars. The 
soil produces a number of palm and other trees without culture, 
some of which bear fruit. ' The following reason is given by the 
Egyptians for its floating. Latona, one of the eight most ancient 
divinities, who lived at Buto, where her oracle now is, having 
been charged by Isis with the care of Apollo, concealed him in 
this island, which is now called the Floating Island, though 
formerly fixed and stationary. She preserved him there in 
safety, while Typhon was searching everywhere for the son of 
Osiris : for they say that Apollo and Diana are bom of Bacchus 
and Isis, and that Latona was their nurse and preserver. Apollo 
is called Orus, Horus, in Egyptian ; Ceres is Isis ; and Diana, 

Of the form and attributes of the Egyptian Latona we are 
completely ignorant It is far from certain that Mut and Buto 
are two characters of the same deity ; and unfortunately the 
sculptures of her temple, mentioned by Herodotus, are no longer 
in existence to clear up the difiSculty. But if Strabo be correct 
in stating that the mygale or shrew mouse was worshipped at 
Athribis, it is very probable that the lion-headed goddess 
Thriphis,^ who gave her name to that city, was the same as the 
Egyptian Latona. The mygale is imiversally allowed to have 

1 Herodot. iL 83. * Ibid. ii. 155. See also ii. 75. Strabo, xrii. p. 551. 

' Strabo, zyii. p. 559. 


been sacred to Buto ;^ it was buried in the city of that name : 
and if the Egyptians really assigned the reason mentioned by 
Plutarch for the worship of this animal, we may believe that the 
goddess Buto represented, as ChampoUion supposes, the dark- 
ness which covered the deep. * The mygale/ says that writer, 

* received divine honours by the Egyptians, because it is blind, 
and darkness is more ancient than light.' ^ 

This idea of night being older than day was very ancient, 
and commonly entertained. We find in Genesis, that Hhe 
evening and the morning were the first day ;' ' which is retained 
to the present time by the Arabs, in the expression layl oo nahr, 

* night and day.' * The Egyptians,' says Damascius, * celebrated 
unknown darkness as the one principle of the universe.' * Accord- 
ing to Hesiod, * from chaos arose Erebus and black night ; from 
night, ^ther and day:' ^ and Aristotle tells us, ' the theologians 
consider all things to be bom from night.'* Aristophanes makes 

* Chaos, Night, Erebus, and Tartarus the first ; ' ^ and in the 
Orphean Fragments we find, ^ I will sing of Night, the genitor of 
gods and men ; Night, the genesis of all things.' The Anglo- 
Saxons also, like Eastern nations, began their computations of 
time from night, and the year from the day corresponding 
with our Christmas, which they called ^Mother Night;' and 
'the Otaheitans refer the existence of their principal deities to a 
state of darkness, which they consider the origin of all things.' ' 
This darkness was not, however, the same as night, or evening, 
in the ordinary acceptation of the word, when the sun withdraws 
its light from the earth, but that primeval night or darkness 
from which all created nature had its commencement. And if 
Buto represented darkness the companion of chaos, or ^ night the 
genesis of all things,' another goddess claimed the post of night, 
who, under the name of Athor, received the sun into her arms, 
as he retired behind the western mountain, of which she was the 
presiding deity. Porphyry and others seem to confound the two, 
and supposed Latona to be the atmosphere, which appears light 
and dark beneath the moon ; deriving the name of Leto from 
the forgetfulness caused by sleep during the night, over which 
they suppose her to preside. This, like many other mysteries, 
being clothed by the Egyptian priests in the guise of a popular 

» Herodot. ii. 67. » Hesiod, Theog. y. 123. 

' Plut. Sympos. iy. qasst. 5, • Metoph. xii. 6. 

* Q«L 1. 2 and 3. » Amtoph. Bird*. 

* Cory, Frtgments, p. 320. • Cory, FragmenU, p. 820. 
VOL. 111. U 


tale, suited to the comprehension of the people, was placed 
beyond the reach of the nninstrncted or the profane; and 
the sanctity of the mygale was attributed to the protection 
it afforded to Latona, who, nnder its form, eluded the pursuit 
of Typho. 

It is this custom of explaining the nature of the gods in two 
different ways — ^the one intended for the instruction of the 
initiated, the other to satisfy the frofanwn vutgy^s^ who were 
excluded from all participation in metaphysical truths — ^which 
has been the cause of so much apparent contradiction in the 
character of the Egyptian deities ; and we may readily conceive 
the labyrinth into which the human mind was led by similar ex- 
planations. But the object of the priest was obtained by these 
means: for since they presented no difficulties to the com- 
prehension of a superstitious people, they had the appearance of 
truth, and effectually prevented their indulging in speculation 
upon the religion they were taught to obey. 

Mut is represented as a female figure wearing on her head 
the psherUf or double crown, of the Upper and Lower Countries, 
placed upon a cap ornamented with the head, body, and wings of 
a vulture. This pshent is not worn by her as by the kings, the 
one crown placed within the other, but side by side, — a mode of 
arranging it adopted also by Atmu and some other deities. 
Instances also occur of Mut with the head of a lion, or of a cat. 
She probably then has the attributes of Bast or Bubastis, or of 
Thriphis above mentioned. But it is frequently difficult to 
ascertain whether these heads are those of a lion or of a cat ; 
even the ears are not always a sufficient guide, though generally 
the latter are erect and pointed, and the others round. 

Some black basalt sitting figures in the British Museum, and 
other European collections, represent the Egyptian Bubastis, 

it ri .-5 ;i 

No. 606. Vftilout fonni of the name of Bast or Bubastis. 

whose name frequently occurs in Lower Egypt over a goddess with 
a lion's head. Above is the form of the name Bubastis, jiff. 4. 

This goddess was principally worshipped in the Delta and 
Lower Egypt. Great honours were also paid her in the Upper 

Chap. XnLl 


Cooiktiy, ukd at Thebes her figure holds a conspicuous place 

among the contemplar deitiee. The city of Bubastis, where she 

was partioolarly adored, stood east of the Delta, and at a 

short distance from the Felusiac branch of the Kile, where lofty 

mounds, called Tel Basta, still mark its site. 'Here,' says 

Herodotus,' 'is a temple of Bnbastis deserring of mention. 

Other temples are larger and more magnificent, bat none more 

beautiful than this. The goddess 

Bnbastis ia the same as the Greek 

Diana. Her temple stands in an i^ 

land sorroonded on all sides by water, 

except at the entrance passage. Two 

separate canals lead from the Kile to 

the entrance, which diverging to the 

right and left, snrronnd the temple. 

They are about 100 feet broad, and I 

planted with trees. The vestibule 

is 10 oigyai, or fathoms, high, orna- 
mented with very fine figures six 

cabita in height. The temple stands 

in the centre of the town, and in walk- 
ing ronnd the place you look down 

npon it on every side, in consequence 

of the foundations of the houses 

having been elevated, and the temple 

sdll continuing on its original level. 

The sacred enclosure is encompassed 

by a wall, on which a great number 

of figures are sculptured ; and within 

it is a grove, planted round die cella 

of the temple, with trees of a considerable height. In the eella 
is the statue of the goddess. The sacred enclosure ia a stadium 
(600 feet) in length by the same in breadth. The street which 
corresponds with the entrance of the temple croBses the public 
sqiwre, goes to the east, and leads to the temple of Mercury : 
it is about three stades long and four plethra (400 feet) large, 
paved,* and planted on either side with Urge trees.' 

Bubastis is represented with the head of a lioness or a cat, and 
to her the latter was peculiarly sacred. On her head she bears a 

A Dtam,, „ ^aU, tn tha Fj 

tha Fjotrni, 

town to tha lempla, though imiillar thu 


[Chap. XHX 

disk, from which rises the nneus, or royal asp, and in her hand she 
holds the usual sceptre of the Egyptian goddesses. From the 
difficulty above stated of distinguishing between the cat and the 
lion-headed figures, doubts sometimes arise respecting the form of 
tho Egyptian Diana : though it appears that she took the head 
of both those animals. The goddess of the Speoa ArtemidoB^ is 
represented in the hieroglyphics by a lioness ;* and if it be true 

that the wolf and jackal were dedicated to one deity, Anubis, we 
can with equal reason suppose the lion and cat to have been 
emblems of the goddess.* 

In the bronze figures of Bast more care seems to have been 
taken to distinguish between the lion and the cat, the head of 
the latter being evidently given to this goddess. They some- 
times represent her holding a sistmm in her right hand, and in 

■ ■ Egrpt and Th«b«,' p. 379. theltc or malt uid f«m«ls niton at the 

* ' Uateria Hiin^.' No. 8, goddoi. Sba onljr appain with th« head 

* The head of the godd«M ii not that of of a cat at a later period, aod than prin- 
■ cat, but a lion, alluding to the uieoi>- dpall; in mull TotiTt bnnne. — S. B, 




her left the bead of a lion surmounted by a disk and aap ; some- 
times with a basket npon hei ann : bat they are frequently of a 
late date, and the attributes they present are less to be depended 
upon than the sculptures of the ancient monumeuta. 

One of the principal featirals of the Egyptians was held at 
Bnbastis in houour of Bast ; and Herodotus ' considers that they 
took a greater interest in it 
than in any of the numerous 
fetes annually celebrated in 
Egypt ' This,' says the his- 
torian, ' is the nature of the 
ceremony on the way to Bn- 
bastis. They go by water, and 
numerons boats are crowded 
with persons of both sexes. 
During the voyage, several 
women strike the eroiaia ;' 
some men play the fiute ; the 
r«st singing and clapping their 
bands. As they pass near a 
town, they bring the boat close 
to the bank. Some of the 
women continue to sing and 
play the eroteda ; othen cry 
oDt aa long as they can, and 
otter reproaches against the 
people of the town, who begin 
to dance, while the former pull 
ap their clothes before them in 

i» repeated at every town they pass upon the river. Arrived at 
Bobastis, they celebrate the festival of Diana, sacrificing a great 
Dnnber of victims; and on that occasion, a greater vonsomp- 
tion of wine takes place than during the whole of the year ; for, 
•ocording to the accounts of the people themselves, no less than 
TOU.000 penons of both sexes are present, besides children.' 

Bast, or Bubastis, is a member of the great triad of ^lemphis, 
and the usual companion of Ptah ; by whom she is said, in the 

> H«n4<M. u. ». M. 

• TW avtala wtn •ltk«r ejmbiU*, or ■ 
Tt U clappn of wood or nwUl— pcrb*p4 
■ aaa ■■ tM trliadrical macM mealioD«il 

1. i. p. ibi. CoBt. rrap«rt. ir. Elcg. 
'ill, taiu tiblMB ctMt croUlutria 


hieroglyphic legends, to be * beloved.* Herodotus considers her 
the daughter of Bacchus (Osiris ^) and Isis. Were this true, she 
could not hold a rank among the eight great deities, but among 
those of the third or even fourth order ; and his assertion is fully 
disproved by the exalted character she bears in the temples of 
Thebes. This error I believe to have arisen from the supposed 
identity of Horus (the son of Osiris) and the sun, or the Apollo 
of the Greeks, whose sister Diana was reputed to be. Horus the 
Elder, whom they called Aroeris, was brother of Osiris, and said 
to be the same as the sun ; whence he also was considered by 
the Greeks to answer to Apollo. But it was the younger Horus 
who was the son of Isis and Osiris, and he had no Bister ; nor, 
indeed, could Bubastis have been the sister of the Egyptian 
Aroeris. Another mistake respecting this goddess arose from 
the idea that Isis was the same as the moon ; and the relation- 
ship of Isis and her brother Ajroeris confirmed the Greeks in this 
erroneous fancy. Isis, however, was distinct from the moon; 
she was in no way connected with Bubastis ; and the latter 
goddess was not the representative of that luminary. 

Ovid has reported the fabulous story of the Egyptian Diana 
(if, indeed, she can be called by that name) assuming the form of 
a cat, to avoid the enmity of Typho.^ But Juvenal has banished 
her from the Pantheon of Egypt : ^ Oppida tota canem vene- 
rantur, nemo Dianam;' not, as the learned Prichard supposes, 
because ' her worship had been discontinued, or had sunk into 
obscurity, before Egypt fell under the Boman yoke,' but because 
Juvenal, in common with so many other persons who visited the 
country, was ignorant of the nature of its religion. The Greeks, 
indeed, gave to Diana three different characters. As the moon, 
she was Lucina ; as goddess of the chase, Diana ; as a deity of 
the lower regions, Proserpine or Hecate : hence the poets styled 
her iriformis; and they sometimes represented her with three 
heads " — that on the right being of a horse, that on the left of a 
dog, and that in the middle of a wild boar — though Pausanias ^ 
thinks this custom neither ancient nor universal. But the form 
and attributes of nearly all the Greek deities were very un- 
certain ; and Cicero has shown how confused were their genea- 
logies and origin. He even confesses that the mode of represent- 
ing them depended on the caprice of painters and fabulists,^ 

1 Herodot. ii. 156. « Pans, in Corinth, c 30. 

* Ovid, Met. lib. y. 830. • Qcero, de Kat. Deor. 

» Virg. JEn. lib. ir. 511. 

Chap. XIII.] BAST. 39 

who committed the palpable absurdity of representing the gods 
subject to anger, lust, and other bad passions, and exposed to the 
infirmities of human nature. 

[Formerly the name of this goddess was read Pfiwht, but 
recent researches have demonstrated that the true reading is 
Sekhet ; and in the sculptures the lion-headed goddesses have 
yarious names : as * Sekhet the great Merenptah,' ^ or beloved of 
Ptah, 'mistress of the heaven/ and 'Sekhet the great Urhek,'* 
or * Menh-Sekhet/^ She is also connected with Mut, and then 
styled *Mut dwelling in the abode of Ptah, mistress of the 
heaven, regent of the earth, and Mut-Uati, Ur.t-hek, also Menh, 
resident on the earth.' Sekhet has been supposed to symbolise 
the devouring fury of the sun, and punished the damned in the 
Egyptian Hades, while on earth she performed the part of Bellona. 
As wife of Ptah, Sekhet was the mother of Nefer Atum, and 
formed the second personage of the Memphite triad. Allied with 
her was her sister Bast, in the same way as Isis was connected 
with Nephthys, except that Bast represented at a later period the 
vegetation of the two countries.* Her mixed nature is described 
in the Bitual, where she is figured as the Mother, or Mut, having 
three heads, one that of a lioness, px^^^ having plumes ; another 
that of a man wearing the pshent; and another of a vulture, 
phallic, having wings, and the claws of a lion.*^ — S. B.] 

The idea of a connection existing between Pasht and Hecate 
seems to be in some degree authorised by the sculptures of the 
Egyptian temples, since we find the hieroglyphical name of the 
latter attached to the goddess before us ; ® and the character and 
title of Hecate were also applied to Mut and Isis. 

Another reason that the moon in the Egyptian mythology 
could not be related to Bubastis is, that it was a male and not a 
female deity, personified in the god Thoth. This was also the 
case in some religions of the West. The Bomans recognised the 
god Lunus ; and the Germans, like the Arabs to this day, con- 
sider the moon masculine, and not feminine, as were the Sel^n6 
and Luna of the Greeks and Latins. 

Neith, the Egyptian Minerva, was particularly worshipped at 
Sds^ in the Delta. Pausanias * pretends that Minerva at Thebes 

' Woodcut So. 508, lines 1, 2. • Woodcut No. 509, bicrog. 2. 

* line 3. * Lino 4. ' Cicero is correct in saying, * Minenra 

* Pterrct,«Dict.d*Arch. Sg7pt./p. 89. secnnda, orta Nilo, qnam JEgyptU Saitc 

* Updns, Todt, Ixxix. c 164. U. 12, 13. colunt.' (Nat. Deor. iii. p. 248.) 
Th« Tign«it« docs not oorrespond. • Pausanias, Ixxx. c 12. 



[Cbap. xni. 

was styled Onka/ which is a Fhceniciau and not an Egyptian 
name ; but it was also one of her names in Egypt, written 
Onk or Anq [1 "'*^. This, however, was the name of her city 

in the Delta; and it is evident that she was called Neith 
both in the Upper and Lower Country ; and Plato and Erato- 
sthenes are correct in stating this to be her Egyptian name. 

'There is,* says the former, 'a certain nome of Egypt in the 
Delta, called Saltic, whose capital is the city of S^ the birth- 
place of King Amaais. The founder of this city was a goddess, 
whom the Egyptians call Neith ; the Greeks, Minerva ; ' and its 
inhabitants are very mnch attached to the Athenians, to whom 

' What PaBuoiu nf > it,' At to thoH 
who thlak that Cadmiu, who came to 
Thebet, wai aa EgypUaD, and not a 
Pbnnician, the aame at this Uinerra ii 
oppowdtothoiratatenifDt; for ihe !■ called 
Siga, Saka, io tho Phtznlcian lasgnagc, 
and not Saii, u in the Egyptian.' That 
Onka fOyjn) b tho proper reading ig 
pTDTad bf £ichjliu, who apaak* of 'Oyaiq 

'AfarSi. Cadmiu wu a Phcsnleian name= 
Cadn, ' the Eait,' personified. He was tht 
Ead who went to Eorape, Crtb, or gharh, 
' tho West.'— 0. W. 

' nJX«Hi ().(., Sab) St&t ipTTfii imr, 
Alyirwrurri fitr Tsivo/u N4IS, ' EAAiinirri 
Si, A, 6 inlmr A^i, 'Atqra. (PUto in 
Tinueo, p. 1043, ed. Franc) 

Cbu-. XIII.] 



they conaider themselves in aome degree related.' * Stephanas 

of Byzantium, HesychiDB, and others, agree with Flotaich in 

saying that the Minerva of Thebes had the appellation of Onka; 

and it is worthy of remark, that an instance occurs there of the 

name of Neith with the adjunct Onk or Auk, which may either 

be an occasional titje of the goddess Keith, or be corrupted from 

the name of An^uqa, the Egyptian Vesta. Some have supposed 

the word Sus to signify an olive-tree, on 

the assumption that Saiih in Hebrew has 

this meaning; but neither was the Saite 

nome famed for the growth of this tree, 

nor was the olive supposed by the Egyp 

tians to be the gift of Minerva. Saith, 

indeed, is not the Hebrew word ; it is Zeth, 

the same as the Arabic Zit, signifying oil ; 

and the town of SeSs was called, in Egyp- 
tian, Saa or 8ai, and has not therefore one 

letter in common with the Hebrew name of 

the olive. An additional reason for this 

conjecture was probably the fact of Athens 

having been colonised by people from Saia, 

who were supposed to have taken with 

them the worship of Minerva, and the 

olive-tree her emblem ; but there is no 

appearance of this tree, or the owl, having 

been sacred to the Egyptian Neith ; and 

Diodoms expressly states, that ' the Egyp- 
tians considered themselves indebted for 

the olive to Mercury, and not to Minerva, as 

is the opinion of the Greeks. '' It has been conjectured that the 
Greek name Athena or Thena was derived from the Egyptian 
word Neith or Neth, by an inversion of the order of the letters, 
—the Egyptians writing it from right to left, and the Greeks 
from left to right : bnt this is of little moment ; nor is it im- 
portant to inquire whether Athens gave its name to Athena, or 
the goddess to the town. Some have supposed the Minerva of 
Athens to be a daughter of Cecrops ; but this notion probably 
originated in his introduction of her worship, when he led a 
colony from Sfus to the Athenian shore.* 

^It U unulig to ebMm tha prelcn- ' Sia ii tbs Dam« of the city, ud the 

•« of the Gntk*, whs iknded them- hierogljphi ihow that it it qaite dlffinnt 

■«»•■ the (nudtn of Sili ud of HeliiH from the word Uel, lued for 'ollre' ud 

P"^ (DW.T.W,fa) ■Wod.i. 16. 'oll«eil/-S.B. 


In bieioglyphics, the name of Neith is tisaaUy composed of 

the following character, ^^•^ ©r ^^*^ , accompanied by the 

half circle and egg, the female signs, or hy two half circles ; and 
an instance occnrs at Esneh of the word written with the bowl, 

or basket ^^^^ ,' though this last is uncommon, and of 

Boman time. Her figure is frequently represented at Esneh, 
where, Stntbo says, Minerva and the Latus fish were particularly 
— =: - - Plutarch' shows that he misunderstands 

^^ W^ the character of Neith, when he attributes 

f[_\ "^ to Isis the inscription in the temple of 

""" Minerva, ' I am everything which has been, 

which is, and which will be, and no mortal 
has yet lifted up my veil ;' for though Isis 
may fteqnently have taken the attributes of 
Neith and of other deities, they were always 
kept distinct in the Egyptian Pantheon. In 
another place,* he says, ' Isis is frequeoUy 
called, by the Egyptians, Athena* signify- 
ing, in tiieir language, " I proceeded from 
myself;" ' from which the Greeks probably 
"^V borrowed the idea of that goddess being 
bom without a mother. Bnt Athet%a wag 
not her Egyptian name ; and she was not, 
as already observed, the same as Isis. 

Neith was to SaSa what Amen was to 
Thebes. The names of several monarchs of 
the 26th Dynasty contained the legend of 
""■'"■ the Egyptian Minerva ; and in the sacred 

precincts of her temple were buried all the kings of that Salts 
Camily. Keith was represented as a female wearing the crown of 
the Lower Country, and holding in her hand the hooked st^ 
of the gods, or the usual flower-headed sceptre of the goddesses, 
sometimes with the addition of a bow and arrows; being, as 
Proclns* tells us, tbe goddess of war as well as of philosophy. 

Kellii wllh water. 

> Ib tfthn OM lk« md XJ, ITiil, oi 
JfM. • hat. d« Irid. *. 0. 

' Ibid. «. S3. 



[Chap. XTTT. 

appear.^ Occasionally she is seen suckling two crocodiles. 
They are the children of Neith.* Her green colour alluded to 
her terrestrial functions. — S. B.] 

In mentioning the remaining gods^ it is not my intention to 
point out the order of the twelve secondary deities^ and thence 
proceed to those of the third order. I shall therefore follow, as 
nearly as possible, the arrangement adopted in my 'Materia 
Hieroglyphica/ after I have noticed the god Ea, the physical 
sun, whom I had there placed among the eight great deities 
of Egypt. 

The worship of Ea, the physical sun, appears to have been 
universal throughout Egypt. The name of this deity was 
pronounced Ba; and, with the definite article Pi prefixed, it 
was the same as Phrah, or, as we erroneously call it, Pharaoh, 
of Scripture, — ^Pire, in the Theban dialect, being written at 
Memphis Phre. I have already noticed^ the origin of the title 
Phrah, Phar8U)h, given in the Bible to the kings of Egypti and 
have shown that the Hebrew word Phrah* is no other than the 
Memphitic name of the sun, Phre, pronounced Phra, which is 
still retained in the Coptic Pi-re. I have also shown that the 
hawk and globe, emblems of the sun, are placed over the 
banners or the figures of the kings in the sculptures to denote 
this title, and that Amen and other deities are often seen pre^ 
senting the sign of life or power to the monarch under this 
emblem. *In every case,' as I have observed, *it will read 
Phre ; and if Hermapion, in his translation of the obelisk of 
Bameses, given by Ammianus Marcellinus, had used the word 
"sun" instead of "Apollo," the sense would have been much 

' It is singular that the Greeks never mention the title Phr^ 
or Pharaoh, as we term it ; and I can only account for this by 
supposing that they translated it wherever it occurred, as is the 
case in Hermapion's translation of the obelisk, where in the 
third column, instead of "the powerful Apollo," we ought to 
read " the powerful Phre, Pharaoh,'^ the all-splendid son of the 

> Pierret, * Diet. d'Arch. %jpt.,'p.363; 
Birch/ Gall, of Antiq.' p. 12. 

* * Records of the Past/ iv. p. 110. 

* * Materia Hierog.,' Pantheon, pp. 6, 109, 
and 'Hierog. Extracts,' p. 6. i think it 
right to allude particularly to mj mention 
of this as early as the year 1827, as it has 
since appeared as a new obserration. 

* Josephus supposes this name to be taken 
from Phoiiro, *the king,' in Egyptian; but 
though Phouro has this meaning, it is not 
the word used for Pharaoh either in Hebrew 
or Egyptian. [The word Pharaoh is sup* 
posed now to be the Egyptian per aa^ or 
per aa anxt the 'great house,' or 'great 
house of life,* an expression which, like our 
word 'court,' was often used for the 
monarch.— S. B.] 



[Cbaf. xni. 

Bon."* > This adoption of the name of the bqu as a regal title 
was probabljr owing to the idea that, as the sun was the chief oi 
heavenljr bodies,' be was a fit emblem of the king, who was the 
niler of all on earth ; and it is one of the many instances of 
analogies which occur in the religious system of the Egyptians. 
The importance attached to this deity may be readily ii^erred 
from the fact of every Pharaoh having the title ' son of the son * 
preceding his phonetic nomen, and the first name of which their 
prsenomens were c<nnposed was that of the sun. In many, too, 
the phonetic nomen commenced with the name of Ra, as the 
Barneses and others ; and the expressions ' living for ever, like 
the snn,* ' the splendid PhrS,' are common on all obelisks and 
dedicatory inscriptions. The freqnent occnrrence of the name 

of Ba, and the great respect paid to the snn, even in towns 
where other deities preuded, tend to show the estimation in 
which this god was held thronghoat Egypt, and suggest the 
probability of the early worship of the heavenly bodies, previoUB 
to the adaptation of a metaphysical theory to the nature of the 
gods. This, indeed, is the opinion of several ancient writers ; 
though they are wrong in assigning to Osiris and Isis the chap 
ractets of the snn and moon. Diodoma says,* ' The first genera- 
tion of men in Egypt, contemplating the beanty of the superior 
world, and admiring with astonuhment the &ame and order of 
the universe, imagined that there were two chief gods, eternal 
and primary, the sun and moon, the first of whom they called 
Osiris, the other Isis. . . . They held that these gods governed 
the whole world, cherishing and increasing all things ; . . . that 

' Hieroe. Eitnct*, p. 8. 

' Cant Forphfiy, dtAlitUii.: < Qtumta doccm eMe Solam.' 


cbap. xm.] woBsmp op the sun and moon. 47 

in their natures they contributed much to the generation of 
those things ; the one being of a hot and active nature, and the 
other moist and cold, but both having something of the air. 
They also said that every particular being in the universe was 
perfected and completed by the sun and moon, whose qualities 
were five : a spirit or quickening efficacy, heat or fire, dryness 
or earth, moisture or water, and air. . . . These five were de- 
nominated gods : . • . the spirit being called Jupiter ; the fire, 
Vulcan ; the earth, Mother, as the Greek Demeter was at first 
called Gemeter; water, Oceanus; and the air, Minerva, the 
reputed daughter of Jupiter.' That the historian is wrong in 
supposing Osiris and Isis to have corresponded to the sun and 
moon, is evident ; and the names and character he gives to the 
five deities, as well as the idea of their proceeding firom the two 
former, are equally at variance with the notions of the Egyptians. 
But part of his statement may possibly be true, — that the first 
gods were the sun and moon ; and his error in assigning the 
names of Osiris and Isis may be accounted for by the limited 
acquaintance of the Greeks and Bomans with the mythology of 
Egypt. Macrobius^ makes a similar mistake respecting these 
deities, — ^the former of whom he calls ' the sun, and the latter 
Earth, or Nature;' and when he adds, 'The Egyptians show 
Osiris to have this character, when in hieroglyphics they re- 
present him emblematically by an eye and sceptre,' he proves 
how little conversant he was with the religious notions of that 
people. If the allegories mentioned by Plutarch were really 
Egyptian, they could only be the visions of speculators (like the 
many allegorical fancies to which facts mentioned in the Bible 
have been doomed to submit by the Cabbala), forming no part 
of their religious belief, and unsupported by the authority of 
monuments. In my Pantheon, I had introduced Ba among the 
eight great deities, in consequence of the important station he 
holds in the temples, both of the Upper and Lower Country ; 
hot, as before observed, it is probable tliat Amen-ra and Ba were 
Bot of the same class of gods, since the intellectual was of more 
consequence than the physical sun, and Manetho calls him the 
•on of Ptah : I have therefore placed him among those of the 
Kcomd order. 

If the Egyptians, like some other Eastern people, adopted at 
fiat a SaboBan mode of worship," and afterwards substituted for 

» Macnb. Satan. L 26. CouL Plut de Iiid. ss. 10 and 51. « Diodor. i. 11. 


it the deification of yarious attributes of the Deity EUmself, there 
would be reason to suppose that the sun once held (he fird fbce 
in their Pantheon, and was not removed from it till they had 
learnt to consider the divine mind of the Creator superior to 
the work He had created. But it is now impossible to settle 
this question; and it will probably always remain uncertain 
if that was the primitive mode of worship in Egypt, or if their 
religion was corrupted from the originally pure idea com- 
municated to them by the early descendants of Noah, who 

established themselves in the valley of 
the Nile. The great importance of 
the name of Ra may seem to argue in 
favour of the former opinion; and the 
connection of a star with an attitude of 
prayer may tend to confirm it. Some 
may even be disposed to see the union 

Figures praying, accompauicd by /. . i . f • ^-i m 

a. tar. of thc two systcms in the name of 

^^•"'- Amen-ra. 

But if, in former times, the Egyptians really adopted a 
Sabasan mode of worship; and if the worship of Ba, and of 
Thoth in one of his characters as the moon, appear to confirm 
this opinion, there is sufficient evidence to show that their 
religion, at the time we know it — consequently long before the 
age of any writer with whose name we are acquainted — had 
already assumed a very different character. The existence of an 
early Sabeean worship in Egypt is merely possible; while the 
metaphysical nature of their religion is proved by abundant 
evidence, both of ancient writers and the monuments; and we 
are therefore bound to consider it as it presents itself to us, 
rather than to be led away by conjecture. And, however much 
I respect the valuable opinion of many writers, especially the 
learned Prichard, who maintains that ' the principal objects of 
Egyptian worship were those physical agents whose operative 
energy is the most conspicuous in the phenomena of nature/^ 
I must, from the evidence before me, deny that physical agents 
constituted the principal deities of the Egyptians. If their 
metaphysical doctrines, divulged alone to the initiated, are not 
within our reach, sufficient is shown to convince us that the 
nature of the great gods was not derived from mere physical 
objects ; and that those which, in consequence of certain notions 

» Prichard, 'Egypt. Mythol^ p. 27. 

Chap. XIIL] 



respecting analogies and emanations, were admitted to a par- 
ticipation of divine honours, held a subordinate post to the 
deified attributes of the Divinity. 

As with the Greeks, the planets were dedicated to, and 
called after, certain deities, though the Egyptians differed in 
the names they assigned to them. The Egyptians, according to 
Achilles Tatius, agree with the Greeks in giving to the planet 
Saturn, though the least brilliant, the title of the splendid ; but 
the latter consider it of good omen, while the former denominate 
it the star of Nemesis. The second, of Jupiter, the Phaethon of 
the Greeks, is by the Egyptians assigned to Osiris. The third, 
of Mars, by the Greeks denominated the fiery, they refer to 
Hercule&^ The fourth, of Mercury, called by the Greeks «tUb6n^ 
is the star of the Egyptian Apollo ; and Pliny and Macrobius ^ 
also state that ' the star of Mercury is given by many nations 
to Apollo.' According to Pliny, the planet Venus was by some 
called of Isis ^ (of Juno, or of the mother of the gods) ; but the 
learned and laborious Jablonski " is not authorised in supposing 
this planet to have been ascribed by the Egyptians to Pan, whom 
he d^s Mendes,* and still less in his assertion of the crva ansata, 
or sign of life, having been dedicated to that deity. The 
mptions of the planets were calculated with great care by the 
Egyptians :^ but if every hierogrammateus was required to under- 
stand all that related to them, the sun and moon, as well as the 
geography of the world, this was not with a view to the worship 
of the heavenly bodies. Astronomy was studied in Egypt, as in 
other countries, without requiring the deification of those visible 
works of the Creator, or the substitution of created things for the 
Deity by whom they were created. And if their knowledge was 
concealed under the guise of a fable, in which, as Proclus says,^ 
it was their custom to clothe the secrets of nature, this was only 
to conceal them from such as were not admitted to a participa- 

. • Pliny QL 8) Mtyi^'The third, of Maw, 
» ky iOBie «Ued of Hercnlet.' (Jablonski, 
ft^ L c 5, a. 4.) [Man was called, 
•Mowiag io Vettlw Valeni (Salmas. de 

■jwrtiiig to C«lmni 0- p. 295), Hertotu 

* The planets, according to the Egyptian 
monnments, are called Ear p^pshj or Har 
tashj or Mars ; Har ka, or Har pa ka, * Horns 
the bnll/ or Jupiter; Haremakhiif Har- 
machis, or Venus ; and Pa neter m6, or Har^ 
hehmiy supposed to be Mercury. (Lepsios, 
• Einleit.,' pp. 94, 95.)— S. B. 

' Seneca, Nat. Quiest. yii. 3, sajs, 
' Eudozus primus ab iEgypto hos motus in 
Gredam transtulit.' 'iEgyptios . . . 
quibuB major coeli cura fuit.' 

• Produs, in PUt. Tim. lib. i. 





tion of their leaming, and not with any view connected with 

It has been generally supposed that obelisks were dedicated 
exclusively to the sun^ and that they were called by the 
Egyptians, according to Jablonski, PUSbpere^ * the finger of the 
sun/ This, however, is a misconception not difficult to explain. 
The first obelisks removed from Egypt to Bome were said to 
have come from Heliopolis, * the City of the Sun,* which stood in 
Lower Egypt, a little to the south-east of the Delta ; and those 
of Heliopolis being dedicated to Ba, the divinity of the place, 
the Bomans were led to conclude that all others belonged to the 
same god.^ But the obelisks of Thebes were ascribed to Amen,' 
the presiding deity of that city ; and though several of those at 
Bome came from Thebes, and were therefore dedicated to Amen, 
the first impressions were too strong to be removed, and the 
notion of their exclusive appropriation to the sun continued, and 
has been repeated to the present day. 

The god Ba was usually represented as a man with a hawk's 
head, surmounted by a globe or disk of the sun, from which the 
urseus asp issued ; sometimes with the head of a man, and the 
same disk;^ and more rarely under the form of a hawk, his 
emblem. Porphyry says, ' The hawk was dedicated to the sun, 
being the symbol of light and spirit,' because of the quickness 
of its motion, and its ascent to the higher regions of the air. 
Horapollo thinks it was chosen as a type of that luminary, ' firom 
its being able to look more intently towards its rays than any 
other bird ; whence also, under the form of a hawk, they depicted 
the sun as the Lord of Vision.'^ Horapollo also says,* that the 
scarabaBUs was an emblem of the sun, in which he is bome out by 
the authority of the sculptures, though he is wrong in the reason 
he assigns for its adoption. He supposes it to be from a certain 

* lamblichas sajs Pjthagoras imitated 
the Egyptians in his mode of teaching bj 
symbols, having learnt this during his stay 
in their country. (Vit. Pythag. Pausan. 
Vit. Pythag. ; and Plut. de Isid. s. 10.) 

' Pliny (xzzyi. 8) says the first was 
raised in Heliopolis, which was the general 
idea among the Romans. 

* The obelisk was called UKhetiy and also 
men or man^ and at a later time was used 
to express the name of the god Amen. 
Some nave supposed that the word obelisk is 
derived from vben ra or vMa^ its equivalent, 
but it is apparently, like basilisk, purely 
Greek. — S. B. 

* Plate XXII., figs. 1, 2, and 3 are ac- 
companied bv the name 'Haremakho, or 
Harmachis, the great god.' Fig, 4 has Ba- 
kheper, with the scarabcus and Ra seated in 
the solar disk on the horiion. Fig. 5 has Ra, 
the solar disk on the horizon, with emblem 
of life supported by two lions, emblems of 
Horus and Set. Fig. 6 has the tolar disk 
held out of the granite mountains of the 
west by Athor, adored by a scribe. The 
inscription reads, ' Adoration to Ra, when 
he sets in the western horizon of the 
heaven. Hail, Ra.'— S. B. 

* Horapollo, i. 6. 

* Ibid. i. 10. 



[GtaAP. XHL 

evident that he alludes to a similar mode of representing the 
sun supported by lions. They were placed back to back, seated 
or lying down; and when made of stone, pottery, or other 
materials, they were united together, forming one body, termi- 
nated by a head on either side. They were worn as amulets and 
ornaments, — the ring by which they were attached answering to 
the sun; and I have found one instance of a cow's head 
substituted for that of one of the lions.^ 

The name Aten-ra cannot fail to call to mind Attin, or Atys, 
the Phrygian sun; and from the ovals of the king, who was 
noted for the peculiar worship of the sun represented at the 
grottoes of Tel el Amama,^ being always so systematically 
erased, some may argue the animosity of the people against 
a king who had made an unwelcome foreign innovation in the 
religion of the country, or at least in the mode of worshipping 
that deity. But the name of Aten-ra already existed at a very 
early period ; and though the subjects of Tel el Amama rarely 
occur,^ except in those grottoes and the vicinity, some traces 
may elsewhere be found of the sun represented with similar rays, 
in sculptures of the time of the great Bameses. If, as I have 
already remarked, Amenti signifies Hhe receiver and giver,' 
Amen-ra may be opposed to Aten-ra, in the same sense.^ Many 
other subdivisions or emanations of the god Ba may be traced in 
the characters of other Egyptian deities, as Aroeris, Mandooli, 
and others of whom I shall have occasion to treat hereafter. We 
also find Chnoumis standing in the sun, accompanied by the 
scarabaeus, in which character he may bear some relation to the 
god Ba. 

It is probable that they separated the light from the heat of 
the sun, as the Greeks considered Phoebus distinct from Apollo. 

> Macrob. Saturn, i. 26. 

* Plate XXIII. 

* I foand^me of the soalptares of this 
king at Koos, ApoUinopolis Parva, near 
Thebes ; and have since heard of others at 
the temple of Kamak, destroyed and bnilt 
over by Amenophis III. 

* The worship of the Aten, or solar disk, 
in opposition to the god Amen, received a 
great extension in the reign of Amenophis 
III., owing to the influence of the queen 
Taii. lU first appearance on the monuments 
is in the 11th year of that monarch, and 
his successor, Amenophis IV., subsequently 
assumed the name of Khuenaten, and 
endeavoured to remove the capital of the 

country to Tel el Amama, and destroy all 
indications of the worship of Amen-ra 
throughout the country by erasing the 
name, which was subsequently restored on 
the overthrow of the worship of the disk. 
The Aten was supposed to be the sun as 
the universal god, and an adoration to it 
calls it the ' Sun, lord of the horixon under 
the name of the light which is in the aten 
or disk.' It is also called the * sun-light 
which is the Amen of Thebes, and the 
maker of all beings ; which gives light to 
mankind.' In the accompanying plate it is 
called < the great living Aten or disk, lord 
of thirty-year festivals, lord of the sun's 
orbit, the disk, lord of the heaven, lord of 

Chap. Xm.] 



The latter, too, made a distinction between Apollo and Helios 
(* the sun ') ; and their mythology, according to Cicero, admitted 
four deities who bore the name of Apollo ; one of whom, the 
reputed son of Vulcan, was supposed to be the same as the 
Aroeris of Egypt There is reason to believe that the god Ea 
corresponded to the Syrian Baal,^ a name implying *Lord,'^ 
which was given par excellence to the sun : and the same idea of 
peculiar sovereignty vested in that deity may have led the 
Egyptians to take from Ea or Phra the regal title of their kings. 
Heliopolis, in Syria, still retains the name of Baalbek, * the City 
of (the Lord, or) the Sun;' and the same word occurs in the 
names of distinguished individuals among the Phoenicians and 
their descendants of Carthage,^ as HannitoZ,^ Asdrubo/, and 

If the Egyptians separated the orb from the rays of the 

sun, they were not singular in that idea ; the same was common 

to the Greeks ; for, as the philosopher Sallust says,^ ' It is 

only from established custom that we are induced to call the 

orb of the sun and its rays the sun itself;' and they, also, 

found reason to deify those two, and to make of them two 

separate divinities. Indeed, it appears that the Egyptians 

made of the sun several distinct deities: as the intellectual 

sun, the physical orb, the cause of heat, the author of light, 

the power of the sun, the vivifying cause, the sun in the 

finnament, and the sun in his resting-place ; and many other 

characters of the sun were probably admitted into the Pantheon 

of Egypt. 

Heliopolis, Ainshems, or Bethshemesh, the On of Scripture, a 
small but celebrated city of Lower Egypt, was the place where 
the worship of Ea was peculiarly adopted. Plutarch says,* 

the earth, in the temple of the Aten or disk, 

in the horizon of the disk ;' and the rajs 

terminate in human hands to show its 

•itmrnrgic or creative power. After the 

^11 of the family of Khuenaten the disk- 

vonhip was abandoned. Some see in it 

t^e adoration of the Hebrew Adonai, and 

^Tyian Adonia. (Birch on a remarkable 

<'^i«ct of the reign of Amenophis III., 

Arch. Joura. riii. p. 396 and foil. Lep- 

^^ 'Ueber den ersten agyptischen Got- 

^^wi<». i,n. 1.)— s. B. 

* Ai BtdtMb or BaalzdnSf, * the lord 
« fti«.' BoaJtm, Mordi,' or * idols/ 

Judg. ii. 11. rin the Punic and Phoenician 
inscription at Malta, Melcarthus (Hercules) 
is called Baitzura, lord of Tyre.— 0. W.1 

' Serrius, on these verses of Virgil (^n. 
i. 733)— 

* Impleritque mero pateram, quam Belus 

et omnes 
A Belo soliti '— 
sajs, 'LinguA Punidt 6al Deus dicitur, 
apud Assjrios autem Bel dicitur.' 

* [Written in Punic ffnbal; in Hebrew 
characters, ^Vaan.— O. W.] 

* In his fourth book on the Gods of the 

* Plut. de Isid. s. 6. 


* Those who minister to the god of Heliopolis never carry any 
wine into the temple, — looking upon it as indecent to drink it 
during the day, when under the immediate inspection of their 
loid and king. The priests of the other deities are not 
altogether so scrupulous on this point ; making use of it, though 
sparingly; unless at some of their more solemn purifications, 
when they wholly abstain from it. Indeed, they give themselves 
up wholly to study and meditation, hearing and teaching those 
truths which regard the divine nature.' This, however, does not 
appear to refer to the ordinary libations made to the sun, which 
were doubtless of wine, as the usual drink-offerings presented 
to the gods, but to a regulation which prevented the priests 
from indulging in the use of wine, and we find abundant proofs, 
from the sculptures in other places, of its having been offered to 
the sun. 

Plutarch continues to observe, that 'even the kings them- 
selves, being of the order of priests, have their wine given them 
according to a certain measure prescribed in the sacred books, as 
we are told by Hecatceus; and it is only since the reign of 
Psammatichus that this indulgence has been granted them : for 
before that time they drank no wine at all ; and if they made 
use of it in their libations to the gods, it was not because they 
looked upon it as in its own nature acceptable, but as the blood of 
those enemies who formerly fought against them, which, being 
mixed with the earth, produced the vine : and hence they think 
that drinking wine in quantities makes men mad, being filled 
with the blood of their own ancestors. These things are related 
by Eudoxus, in the second book of his Tour, as he had them from 
the priests themselves.' The assertion, however, respecting the 
prohibition of wine, previous to the time of Psammatichus, is 
erroneous ; and I have already shown that the kings and priests 
were permitted its use at the earliest periods, as the sculptures 
abundantly prove, as well as the Scriptural account of Pharaoh's 
butler.^ It was of Heliopolis, or On, that Potipherah^ was a 
priest, whose daughter Asenath was 

given in marriage to Joseph ; and ■ <=> • ^^ 

the name of that person is evidently ^^ * ^ ^ ■ \r 
compounded of Phre or Phrah, ' the n«wj of PoUph«mh. m-phr*. or PH-r». 

Sun,' and answers to the Egyptian Pet- 

phra, or Heliodotus, which in hieroglyphics would be thus written : 

» Gen. xl. 11. • Gen. xli. 45. 


The priests of the sun at Heliopolis, like those of Thebes and 
Memphis, were celebrated for their learning ; and it was to this 
city that Plato, Eudoxus, and other Greek sages repaired, in 
order to study * the wisdom of the Egyptians ;' and 'Pythagoras,' 
according to Plutarch,^ *was the disciple of Oinuphis the Heli- 
opolite.* Astronomy and all branches of science were studied at 
Heliopolis : and the priests of the sun enjoyed the greatest repu- 
tation for learning. Their city, though small, was the university 
of Egypt; and near it was an observatory, which Strabo^ at- 
tributes to Eudoxus, but which we may conclude with greater 
reason belonged of old to the city, whither he had gone from 
Greece to study the secrets of the Egyptian wisdom. In the 
time of the geographer, the reputation of this seat of learning 
had already declined ; the spacious mansions in which the priests 
lived were pointed out to him as objects of bygone days ; and the 
inhabitants spoke of the former sojourn of learned men among 
them. The colleges, as well as the doctrines they taught, no 
longer existed in Heliopolis ; nor was anyone shown to him who 
occupied himself in the pursuits of former times. Alexandria 
was the seat of learning at that period : philosophy seemed to 
have sought an abode and patronage near the court; even 
its obelisks were removed with its learning from Heliopolis, and 
all that could give it splendour or celebrity was taken to the 
new city. 

The hawk, as before stated, was peculiarly sacred to the sun. 

Herodotus also mentions a bird called the Phoenix, of which he 

gives the following account : ^ — ' I have never seen it but in a 

painting, for it seldom makes its appearance, and, if we may 

believe the Heliopolitans, it only visits their country once every 

500 years, on the death of its father. If it is like its picture, 

its ¥dngs are partly gold, partly red, and its general appearance 

is similar to an eagle, both in form and size. They relate a 

peculiarity respecting it, which to me appears incredible. It 

comes, as the Egyptians say, from Arabia, bringing with it the 

body of its father enveloped in myrrh, and buries it in the 

temple of the sun. For this purpose it makes a mass of myrrh 

into the form of an egg, of the weight which it thinks itself 

capable of canning, and having raised it and found it portable, 

it proceeds to hollow out the mass ; and then introducing the 

* Flut dt Wd. 1. 10. « strabo, xvii. p. 555. » Herodot. ii. 73. 


body of its father, and closing the orifice with myrrh, the egg 
is found to be of the same weight as when solid; and this 
being done, it brings it to Egypt and deposits it in the temple 
of the sun.' 

* The Phoenix of Arabia,' says Pliny,* * surpasses all other 
birds ; but I do not know if it be a fable that there is only one 
in the whole world, and that seldom seen. According to report, 
it is the size of an eagle, of a gold colour about the neck, the 
rest being purple, its tail blue, varied with red feathers, its face 
and head richly feathered, with a tuft on the top. Manilius 
observes that no man ever saw it feeding ; that in Ajrabia it is 
held sacred to the sun ; that it lives 660 years) and when it 
grows old it builds a nest with twigs of cassia and frankincense, 
and, having filled it with aromatics, dies upon it. A worm is 
afterwards produced from its bones and marrow, which, having 
become a young bird, carries the entire nest to the city of the 
sun, near Panchaea, and there deposits it on the altar. Manilius 
also says that the revolution of the great year agrees with the 
life of this bird, in which the seasons and stars return to their 
first places ; beginning at noon on the day when the sun enters 
Aries.' This imaginary bird, of which so many tales have been 
handed down to a late period, is frequently represented in the 
paintings and sculptures of the temples of Egypt, though without 
appearing peculiarly emblematic of, or sacred to, the sun. It 
occurs in the ornamental details of cornices, Mezes, and other 
parts of buildings, at the bases of columns, and on the sails 
of ships; and sometimes a monarch is seen presenting it as 
an offering to the gods.* According to Horapollo,' it was the 
emblem of one who had returned home after travelling over 
distant countries ; and it was therefore very properly chosen to 
ornament monuments erected by the victorious monarchs of 
Egypt, after achieving conquests that shed a lustre over their 
names, and claimed the congratulations of a grateful country for 
their safe return. The Egyptian Phoenix is represented under 
the form of a bird with wings partly raised, and seated upon its 
open claws, having at the back of its head a small tuft of 
feathers similar to that of the crested plover,^ so common in 

> Plin. z. 2. * This bird appears rather to represent 

* [This is really the ' pure soul ' of the * intelligence/ or in the ploral * inteUi- 

king. The Phoenix seems to be the Bennu, gences ' or * intelligent beings/ as w%en 

or Ardeoj sacred to Osiris.— G. W.] meant • risible things/ and enti^ « inrisible 

' Horapollo, i. 35. things.' It is doubtful if it is the Phoenix 

Chap, xm.] 



Egypt ; and in front it raises two human arms as if in an attitude 
of prayer. But it may be doubted if this be the same whose 
picture Herodotus mentions ; and from the slight description he 
gives of ity we might rather suppose he had in view the hawk, 
which was the emblem of Ba, and which is seen on obelisks and 
other monuments, whether dedicated to the sun or other deities. 
They sometimes represent the Phoenix under the form of a man 
with wings, in the same attitude of prayer, and bearing the tuft 
of feathers on his head,^ accompanied also by a star, which, as 
I have observed, seems to have been connected with the idea of 
adoration. Of its name in the Egyptian language we are 
ignorant. Ovid says, * the Assyrians call it Phoenix ; ' and from 
this bird and the palm-tree having the same name in Greek, we 
are sometimes in doubt to which of the two ancient writers in 
that language allude, as in the case of the phoiniha^ carried in 
the hand of the Horoscopus, mentioned by Clemens. Pliny 
even pretends that the bird received its name from the palm.^ 
In the time of Herodotus, as the learned Larcher observes, the 
notion of the Phoenix rising from its ashes had not yet been 
entertained. Suidas, who flourished about the tenth century, 
states that from its ashes issued a worm which changed itself 
into a Phoenix ; and the early fathers of the Greek and Latin 
Church availed themselves of this accredited fable as a proof of 
the resurrection.^ But though the story of its rising from its 
ashes may have been a late invention, the Phoenix itself was of 
very ancient date, being found on monuments erected about the 
commencement of the 18th Dynasty. And we even find mention 
of this long-lived bird in the Book of Job.^ This, at least, is the 
opinion of Bede, who, in accordance with the Septuagint trans- 
lation of the word we render ' sand,' reads, ' I shall die in my 
nes^, and shall multiply my days as the Phoenix : * and Prichard, 

wliich is rtpresented by a kind of heron 

with two tufts behind its head, and is 

called Bemtu, the same word as phom^x ; 

•ad in the Ritual the mjstical interpreta- 

tioa giren to it is, *The Bennu is Osiris; 

ia An or Heliopolis, the rerifier or reckoner 

of things Tisible and invisible is his body/ 

or Mt is an age and eternity.' (Lepsins, 

•Todt.', c 17, IL 10, U.) Awn, or « age,' is 

the day, eternity is the night. The Phoenix 

erdea, or periods, are supposed to represent 

tte time rw^uired for the wanderings of 

the soul, to purification, of 1500 and 600 

y«rs. (Lepilua,'JEinleiVp.lM.).^. B. 

* Conf. Plin. x. 2, and xi. 37. 

* Plin. xiii. 4. 

* Ambrosius says: 'Phoenix avis in 
Arabite locis perhibetur .... doceat igitur 
nos hsec avis exemplo sui resurrectionem 
credere.' (Hexamer. lib. t. c. 23.) It ia 
also celebrated by Lactantius, Gregory 
Nazianzenos, and Tertullian. 

. * Job zxiz. 18. The Hebrew name is 
h\n. Hoi or Kholf which also means 'sand,' 
as in our Version. The Septuagint has 


Greseniosy and others allude to the same interpretation of the 

Several ancient writers mention the periodical return of the 
Phoenix: some agreeing with Herodotus in fixing it at about 
800 years ; while others state it to have been 660, 600, 500, 340, 
or 1460. * Various,' says Tacitus,^ * are the opinions respecting 
the number of years. They most commonly allow 500, though 
some extend the interval to 1461, and assert that the bird 
appeared in the age of Sesostris, of Amasis, and the third 
Ptolemy.' But these two periods do not agree: that from 
Sesostris (or Bameses the Great) to Amasis being about 780 
years ; that from Amasis to Ptolemy III. about 330. Some have 
thought that, by the Phoenix, the Egyptians intended to indicate 
the appearance of comets ; and I have seen a paper 
prove that the average ^ number of years assigned to the return 
of the Phoenix corresponded to the great comet of 1680. Without 
however assenting to the opinion of Seneca^ — who thinks, ^because 
Eudoxus, having studied in Egypt, and thence introduced into 
Greece the knowledge of the motions of the planets, took no 
notice of comets, that the Egyptians, the greatest observers of 
celestial phenomena, had not attended to this part of the 
subject^' — I must confess that the reappearance of the Phoenix 
appears rather to indicate, as Pliny, on the authority of 
Manilius, supposes, the return of a certain period. And the 
mention of the number 1461 argues strongly in favour of 
the opinion that the Sothic period was the real Phoenix of 
Egypt This, as I have elsewhere shown, was the number 
of years that elapsed before the solar year of 365 days coin- 
cided with the Sothic or fixed year of 365^ days. It was 
also called the Great Year of the Egyptians, at the end of 
which all the planets returned to the same place they occupied 
at its commencement. 

[The name of Ba is supposed to mean 'disposer,' as the 
deity who made the cosmos out of the material given by Ptah. 
He is also supposed to be fire, and existence or * to-day,' the 
present. His worship was at the earliest period, and was 
universal; and during his passage through the hours of the 
day and night he assumed the types of all the principal solar 
deities who were associated or identified with him. He was 
the great god, lord of the heaven, bom of the great cow of 

> Tadt. Annal. vi. 28. Sen. £p. 42. taken by the writer, being 575. 

' The ayerage of 600 and 540 jean ig * Sen. Kat. Quest, lib. viL c 3. 

Chap. XHI.] SEB, SATURN. 59 

Hathor or Neith, and resident or dwelling in the solar orb; 
the great victorious god of the disk, the creator of the mun- 
dane egg, and the one proceeding out of the nUy or celestial 
waters. In his transformations he assumed the form of the 
lion, cat, and hawk. The battle in heaven with the gigantic 
Apap, or great serpent; his final triumph, and strangling of 
the dragon, and his diurnal renewal of the fray, formed the 
subject of the walls of the tombs and sarcophagi at the time 
of the 18th and subsequent dynasties. His name is found 
in a cartouche as one of the divine rulers of primitive 
Egypt, after Ptah, of whom he was the son, according to the 
Memphite tradition. This myth is so extensive in its bearings 
that only the principal facts of it can be given in the present 
work.^— S. B.] 

Seb,' the father of Isis and Osiris, was supposed to be the 
same as Saturn, probably from his having the title * Father of the 
Grods.* This, however, referred to his being the parent of the 
deities above mentioned, and not to any resemblance he bore to 
the sire of Jove ; for the Saturn of Egypt, * the father of Osiris,' 
was said to be * the youngest of the gods.' Indeed, the character 
of Saturn differed essentially from that of the Egyptian Seb ; 
and the rites of the former, when introduced by the Ptolemies, 
were looked upon by the Egyptians to be so much at variance 
with their religious notions, that his temple, like that of Sarapis, 
was not admitted within the precincts of their cities; and it 
was not without compulsion that the worship of these two deities 
was tolerated by the people. 

Macrobius says: * Through the tyranny of the Ptolemies 

they were obliged to receive those gods into their worship, after 

the manner of the Alexandrians, by whom they were particularly 

adored ;'^ the opposition made to their introduction being, as he 

thinks, in consequence of the novel custom of slaying victims in 

their honour. He states that it was not lawful for the Egyptians 

to propitiate the gods by sheep and blood, but with prayers and 

incense only ; and Porphyry* expresses a similar opinion, when 

he says, * Those in earlier times who performed sacrifices offered 

herbs, flowers, and trees, or incense of aromatic substances ; for 

it was unlawful to slay animals.' * Among the offerings* made 

» BlwA, » (hXl of Antiq.,' p. 24 ; Pierret, • Chronos, or Time. 

•Diet. d'Arch^' p. 468 ; Bni|^h, « Gesch. » Macrobius, Saturn, i. 4. 

AtfypL,' p. 30 ; Lapsing, « Ueber dea enten * Porphyry, de Abstinentii, lib. ii. 

^^<**«*wb.'--8. B. » « Materia Hieroglyphica,* p. 15. 


[Chap. xm. 

to the Egyptian deities, libations and incensd hold, it is true, a 
promineot place, as well as flowers, frait, and other productions 
of the soil ; but geese, and other birds, gazelles, capriooms, the 
legs and bodies of oxen or of the wild goat, and, what is still 
more remarkable, the head of the victim, are also placed b^oie 
them:'' and thus the reason given by Macrobios is iiilly dis- 
proved. Herodotus also tells ns that the oxen, after having been 
examined by a priest and marked with his seal, were led tu the 

altar and sacrificed ; and this is fully confirmed by the sculptures 
in every part of Egypt. I shall not here stop to inquire if really, 
in early times, the Egyptians or other ancient people contented 
themselves with offerings of herbs, incense, and libations, and 
abstained fVom sacrifices of victims. This, if it ever was the caa^ 
could only have been in their infancy as a nation ; and it ia 
more probable, as I have already observed, that the kind of 
offering considered most acceptable to the deity, which was 'a 
firstling of the flock,' had been established and handed down 

■ 'UaUria Hleroglrphlo,' p. 16. 


from the very earliest' period, as a type of the destined perfect 
propitiation for sin, which man was taught to expect. 

The story of the birth of the children of Saturn, mentioned 
by Plutarch/ abounds with contradictions. 'Bhea,' who is 
Nut, 'having had intercourse with Saturn by stealth, was 
discovered by the sun, who thereupon denounced a curse upon 
her * that she should not be delivered in any month or year.* 
Mercury, however, being likewise in love with the same goddess, 
in recompense for the favours which he had received from her, 
played at tables^ with the moon, and won from her the seventieth 
part of each of her illuminations. These several parts, making 
in the whole five new days, he afterwards joined together, and 
added to the 360, of which the year formerly consisted ; which 
days, therefore, are even yet called by the Egyptians the ^>aety 
or superadded, and observed by them as the birthdays of their 
gods. For upon the first of them, they say, was Osiris bom, at 
whose entrance into the world a voice was heard, saying, ** The 
lord of all the earth is bom." • • . . Upon the second was Aroeris 
bom, whom some call Apollo, and others distinguish by the 
name of the Elder Horns. Upon the third, Typho came into the 
world ; being born neither at the proper time, nor by the right 
place, but forcing his way through a wound which he had made 
in his mother's side. Isis was bom upon the fourth, in the 
marshes of Egypt ; as Nephthys upon the last, whom some call 
Teleute and Aphrodite, and others Nik6. Now, as to the fathers 
of these children, the two first of them (Osiris and Aroeris) are 
said to have been begotten by the sun, Isis by Mercury, Typho ^ 
and Nephthys by Saturn; and accordingly the third of these 
superadded days, because it was looked upon as the birthday of 
Typho, was regarded by the kings as inauspicious, and conse- 
quently they neither transacted any business on it,^ nor even 
suffered themselves to take any refreshment until the evening. 
They further add, that Typho married Nephthys ; and that Isis 
having a fond affection for Osiris while they were yet together 
m their mother's womb, became pregnant by her brother, and 
from this commerce sprang Aroeris, whom the Egyptians likewise 
call the Elder Horns, and the Greeks Apollo.' According to 
this account, Osiris was the son of Nut, or Bhea, by the sun ; 
las, by Mercury : how, then, could they be twins ? And * Satum,' 

» Sl*^ ^ ^*^ ». 12. • TltTrtia, * An unlucky day. Some persons are 

tmJ^ ^^"^ Typho is to be preferred to equally superstitious about unlucky days, 
TjpteQ. ^^^ In i^^g^ enlightened times. 


we are told by Plutarch, * introsted the care of the child Osiris 
to Paamyles;' which could not reasonably be expected, unless 
he were his own son. Were Plutarch our only guide, we might 
remain in uncertainty upon the subject; but fortunately the 
hieroglyphics solve the difficulty, and establish the claims of 
Seb (or Saturn) to the title of father of Osiris. 

Seb is sometimes represented with a goose standing upon his 
head, which is the initial of his phonetic name; and, in the 
hieroglyphics, he has the title 'Father of the Grods.' This 
alludes to his being the father of Osiris, and the other deities 
bom on the days of the epact ; and the frequent occurrence of 
the formula which the gods are made to utter, 'I give you 
the years of Seb,* appears to connect this deity with Kran€$,^ 
the Saturn of the Greeks,' distinct as he was from the Saturn 
of Boman mythology. His dress, and that of Nut, his consort^ 
are remarkably simpla [Seb was also called the repa or 'heir 
of the gods,' and, in allusion to the goose, * the great cackler/ 
which produced the egg, apparently the mundane one. There 
was an intimate connection between the name of Seb and the 
word for star, and he is supposed by some to have represented 
the planet Saturn. He was not however demiurgic, like Ptah 
or Khnoum, but of the order of terrestrial gods. — S. B.] 

'Nut has frequently been mistaken for Neith, but the 
hieroglyphics, calling Osiris the son of Nut and Seb, leave no 
room for further doubt upon the subject.^ It is not altogether 
impossible that Horapollo may have ascribed to Neith what in 
reality belongs to the wife of Seb; since the firmament is her 
emblem, or, at least, indicates the last syllable^ of her name. 
Another goddess with whom, from the similarity of name, she 
might possibly be confounded, is Nephthys; but the sister of 
Isis differs entirely from the Egyptian Bhea; and Tpe, the 
goddess of the heavens, enclosing the zodiacs, is also distinct 
from her, as from Neith and Nut. She is sometimes repre- 
sented with a vase on her head, the initial of her name ; and 
she firequently occurs in the paintings of the tombs, standing in 
the sycamore fig-tree, pouring a liquid from a vase, which the 
deceased and his friends, and even the soul of the former under 

' XpJrof. for the whole syllable) were used ooea* 

' Macrob. Saturn, i. 5. sionally in hieroglyphics— as if for Mai^ the 

' * Materia Hierog.,' p. 18 ; and Plate hare for oudn^ and others — independently 

XXV. hierog. 7. of the omission of the intermediate yoweb 

* Dr. Tonng was not wrong in stating between consonants, as in Arabic and 

that sjllables (or, at least, the initial letter Hebrew. 




the fonn of a bird with a human head, are catching in their 
hands. Besides this nectar of heayen, she presents them with 
a basket of fruit from the sacred tree.* It is to Nut that the 
sycamore was dedicated ; and ^the number of instances I haye 
met with of Nut in this tree^ leaye no doubt of the fig, which 
gaye the name of Hierosycaminon to a town of Nubia,^ being 
sacred to the mother of Osiris.' The representation of this tree 
at Hierosycaminon is yery rude, and of the late era of the 
Eoman empire : if, therefore, the goddess seated beneath it has 
rather the character of Isis, or of Athor, than of Nut, the 
authority of such a period is of little weight; and we haye 
abundant proofs from the oldest monuments, that the sycamore 
was consecrated to Nut, as the Persea to Athor. [In Plate 
XXIY., Nut {fig. 1) is seen in this character, and the in- 
scription reads, 'Nut, the greatly splendid, in her name of 
the sycamore neha, I present to thee the fresh water. Befiresh 
thy heart with it ; it is the water which proceeds from Nu,' the 
deity of the celestial waters or abyss of heayen, the liying 
water of the Egyptian myths. — S. B.] 

The Athenians had a holy fig-tree, which grew on the 'sacred 
road,' where, during the celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries, 
the procession which went from Athens to Eleusis halted. This 
was on the sixth day of the ceremony, called lacchus, in honour 
of the son of Jupiter and Geres, who accompanied his mother in 
her search for Proserpine ; but the fig-tree of Athens does not 
appear to haye been borrowed from the sycamore of Egypt, 
unless it were in consequence of its connection with the mother 
of Isis and Osiris, whom they supposed to correspond to Oeres 
and Bacchus. 

In one of the hieroglyphic legends giyen in the plate,' 
Nut appears to be identified with Lucina, and to preside oyer 
births and nursing. Indeed, it is probable that mothers looked 
to her for protection, being the fabled parent of their fayourite 
deities Isis and Osiris, from which she deriyed the title ' Mother 

^ This U one of the rignettes of the Book 
of the Dead, or Ritual, appearing in the 
38th chapter, that of drinking the waters 
in Hades. Nut also represent^ the female 
natore of the dual element of water con- 
sidered as male and female. The corre- 
sponding male deitj was Nu, or, as it is 
possible to read the name, Han, and then 
the name of Nat, Han.t.— S. B. 

* Now Maharraka, or Oofide^na. 

» Plate XXIV., hierog. No. 2, from 
Denderah. [The inscription reads, 'Nut, 
mother of the gods, the nurse, haTing 
power oyer the place of new birth, ifi«9x«n, 
holding temples, the chief of Uindages.' 
Hierog. 3 reads, *Nut, mother of the gods, 
mistress of heayen.' — iS. B.] 

CHAP.xm.] . OSIRIS. 65 

of the Gk)ds.* Of the Egyptian Lacina, worshipped at Eileithyia, 
I shall have occasion to speak hereafter. 

'Osirisy in his mysterious character, was the greatest of all 
the Egyptian deities ; but little is known of those undivulged 
secrets which the ancients took so much care to conceal. So 
cautious indeed were the initiated, that they made a scruple 
even of mentioning him ;'^ and Herodotus, whenever he relates 
anything concerning this deity, excuses himself from uttering 
his name. His principal o£Sce, as an Egyptian deity, was to 
judge the dead, and to rule over that kingdom where the souls 
of good men were admitted to eternal felicity.' Seated on his 
throne, accompanied by Isis and Nephthys, with the four G^nii 
of Amenti, who stand on a lotus growing from the waters, in the 
centre of the divine abode, he receives the account of the actions 
of the deceased, recorded by Thoth. Horus, his son, introduces 
the deceased into his presence, bringing with him the tablet of 
Thothy after his actions have been weighed in the scales of 
Truth. To Anubis, who is styled the ' director of the weight,' 
belongs this duty ; and, assisted by Horus, he places in one scale 
the feather or the figure of Thmei, the goddess of Truth, and in 
the other a vase emblematic of the virtuous actions of the 
judged. A Gynocephalus, the emblem of the ibis-headed god, 
sits on the upper part of the balance; and Cerberus, the 
guardian of the palace of Osiris, is present. Sometimes also 
Harpocrates, the symbol of resuscitation and a new birth, is 
seated on a crook of Osiris, before the god of letters,— expres- 
sive of the idea entertained by the Egyptians and oilier philo- 
sophers, that nothing created was ever annihilated; and that 
to cease to be was only to assume another form — dissolution 
being merely the passage to reproduction. Some of the figures 
of the dead are represented wearing round their necks the same 
emblem which appears in the scales, after they have passed their 
ordeal, and are deemed worthy of admission into the presence of 
Osiris ; the purport of which is, that they are justified by their 
works, weighed and not 'found wanting.' To men and to women 
also was given after death the name of Osiris,' — implying that, 
in a future state, the virtuous returned to the fountain of all 

Hcrodoi. panim. PUt. d« kid. ■. 21, texU of papyri, howerer, hare this formnlm ; 

*^; * I^liit de Itid. 8. 79. but then it is uncartoin what is thtir exact 

^_y ^ *- ^ - At a later period, no in- age. The form ma x"^ *juftified' or 

•™« ooevn on iKe tombe or mono- <trath-«peaking,' which was particnlarlj in 

S^Ti nS*?lJJ* *^ «»• 0^ kings, vp to relation with Osiris, does not appMr tUl 

«t irifc Dyniity. Some of the oldest the close of the 12th DjnastTw— & R 


<d^{':n -@1I;:!^3I 




good, firom which they originally emanated ; and that the sonl, 
being separated from its material envelope, was pure and intel- 
lectnal, divested of all the animal feelings which a distinction of 
•ex might indicate, and free from those impurities or imperfec- 
ticms to which human nature was in this life subject. They also 
ooondered the soiils of men to be emanations of that divine soul 
which governed and pervaded the universe ; each eventually re- 
taming to its divine origin, provided the virtuous course of life 
it had led in this world showed it to be su£Sciently pure to unite 
with the immaculate nature of the deity. It was Uieir opinion 
that those which had been guilty of sin were doomed to pass 
thioagh the bodies of different animals, in order so to purify 
them that they might be rendered worthy again to mix with the 
parent soul whence they emanated ; the number and duration of 
these transmigrations, and the kind of animals through which 
they passed, depending on the extent of their impieties, and the 
consequent necessity of a greater or less degree of purification. 
This doctrine of the metempsychosis, or transmigration of the 
sod, was afterwards adopted by Pythagoras, with many other 
cpinioDs he acquired during his stay in Egypt. The idea of the 
letom of the spirit to the Deity seems also to have been ad- 
mitted by the Jews, in the time of Solomon ; since we find in 
Eodesiastes, * Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was ; 
^ the spirit shall return unto God who gave it' ^ The cha- 
ideis of Osiris were numerous,^ as were those of Isis, who was 
^Itcaos called Hyrionymus, or 'with 10,000 names.' He was 
^ attribute of the Deity which signified the divine Goodness ; 
^ in his most mysterious and sacred office, as an avaiaVy or 
^•ftifestation of the Divinity on earth, he was superior to any 
^^ of the eight great gods.' And though, as Herodotus 

' Han cpafottftd^d with othtr d«iti€t. 
(KM«. L 25.) 

' TW fvittdpAl tj^m of Otirii are nm- 
■^ !• th» aceoapaBjing PUU XXV. 
^9- 1 nfnmmU him in hb ftrain prior to 
^ tek, koUiag tb« Mcptre, noi or fom, 
la'tW wpmh«l of life, aod wearing two 
tmthm mt his head to indicate hit 
Ufd of the hall of the two tmthi. 
, 1, i, are hie naoM, As-ar. Fig. 2 is 
^Sm la hie eaUetlal character, wearing the 
•f the nppcr world or hemi- 
ied, eiTeloped in baadagea. 
Mm, holding the harrier-headed 
crooks Aago, aad whip, 
•f hif nUe and dooiaioA. 

Before him Is the pard-ekin on a pole, the 
hierogl jph of the word nem, * second,* in re- 
lation to the * second life.' Hierog. 3 is his 
name, * eternal ruler ;* 4, * lord of Abut or 
Abjdot.' Fig. 3 represents him as jadge 
of the dead in the Egyptian hall of the 
two tmths in Hades, wearing the atef or 
cap of the npper world, with two ostrich 
feathers, holding the crook and whip. His 
titles, hierog. 5, are, * Ouris, lord of the age, 
ball in the AmenU.' Fig. 4 is Osiris in 
the same attributes with the head of the 
Bennn or Phanii, emblem of his aonl. 
Fig. 5 is Osiris Tat or Tatta, draped, with 
peculiar face, holding the crook and whip, 
aad wearing a disk, and two oetrich« 
iiitli«n OB Um goat's horns, haTing a 

F 2 


informs us,^ all the Egyptians did not worship the same gods 
with equal reverence, the adoration paid to Osiris and Isis was 
universal, and he considers Isis the greatest of all the diyinities 
of Egypt.^ Of the manner in which the Egyptians supposed 
this manifestation of the deity in a human form to have taken 
place, I will not pretend to decide. This was always a profound 
secret, revealed only to some of those who were initiated into 
the higher order of mysteries. Suffice it to say, that Osiris was 
not believed by them to have been a human being, who after 
death was translated into the order of demigods ; for, as I have 
already observed, no Egyptian deity was supposed to have lived 
on earth, and to have been deified after death, as with the 
Greeks and other people. 

Pythagoras also borrowed from the Egyptians his notion re- 
specting emanation. He held that the Deity was the soul which 
animated all nature — the anima mv/ndi^ or soul of the universe 
— ^not an external influence, but dwelling within it, as the soul 
of man within the human body ; and from this universal soul all 
other gods, as well as the souls of men and other animals, and 
even of plants, directly proceeded. Plutarch, indeed, attempts 
to show that the worship of animals in Egypt was borrowed from 
this idea, when he says, ^ On the whole, we ought to approve the 
conduct of those who do not reverence these creatures for their 
own sakes, but who, looking upon them as the most lively and 
natural mirrors wherein to behold the divine perfections, iuid as 
the instruments and workmanship of the Deity, are led to pay 
their adoration to that God who orders and directs all things ; 
concluding, on the whole, that whatever is endued with soul and 
sensation is more excellent than that which is devoid of those 
perfections — even than all the gold and precious stones in the 
imiverse, though collected into one mass. For it is not in the 
brilliancy of colour, in the elegance of form, or in the beauty of 
surface, that the divinity resides. So far from it, those thhigs 
which never had life, and have not the power of living, are in a 
much lower degree of estimation than those that once enjoyed 
existence, though they may since have lost it. But whatever 

disked arsus on each side. It appears begotten by Seb ; ' 8, same as 6 ; 9 has no 

from a coffin at Cambridge that the Tat relation to Osiris ; 10-13, Osiris Unnefer 

alone, or emblem of stabUity, represented or Onnophris, the name in a cartouche to 

Osiris ; and the emblem of life, anxi the show that he had ruled oyer Egypt.— S. B. 

goddesses Isis and Nephthys. The titles > Herodot. ii. 42. 

of the god are, 6, Awr xent Am/BKH^ 'Osiris • Ibid. ii. 40. 
resident in the west ; ' 7, * Osiris ion of Nut, 




beings are endued with life, and the faculty of seeing, with a 
principle of voluntary motion in them, and are able to dis- 
tinguish what belongs to and is proper for them — all these, as 
Heraclitus says, are to be regarded as the affluxes, or so many 
portions of that supreme wisdom which governs the universe ; so 
that the Deity is not less strikingly represented in these, than in 
images of metal and stone made by the hand of man.' ^ 

The same is mentioned by Eusebius as the opinion expressed 
in the old Hermcac books called Genica:^ ^Have you not been 
informed by the Genica, that all individual souls are emanations 
from the one soul of the universe ? ' and Porphyry says, * The 
Egyptians perceived that the divinity not only entered the 
human body, and that the (divine) soul dwelt not, while on 
earth, in man alone, but passed in a measure through all 

Osiris was called^ the * manifester of good,' or the * opener of 
truth,' and said to be ' full of goodness, grace, and truth.' He 
appeared on earth to benefit mankind; and after having per- 
formed the duties he had come to fulfil, and fallen a sacrifice to 
Typho the evil principle (which was at length overcome by his 
influence, after his leaving the world), ' he rose again to a new 
life,'^ and became the judge of mankind in a future state. The 
dead also, after having passed their final ordeal and been ab- 
solved firom sin, obtained in his name, which they then took^ 
the blessings of eternal felicity. The title ' manifester of good ' 
accords well with what Plutarch* says of Osiris, that he was a 

* Thif doctrine is well described hy 
Virgil (iEn. ri. 724) in the following 
beuitifiil lines : — 
'Prindpio ccelom, ac terras, camposque 

Lnoentemque globum Inns, Titaniaque 

Spiritns intos alit, totamque infasa per 

Hens agitat molem, et magno se corpore 

lade iMnninnm pecudumque genos, vi- 

taque Tolantum, 
It qoft marmoreo fert monstra sub 

•qaore pontus. 
^IMis est oUis rigor, et coelestis origo 

Q^ et supremo cum lumine Tita re- 

Aoa tasMA omne malum miseris, nee 

fvs^tus omncs 
^-<*n««« eieedunt pestes ; penitosqae 

Malta din concreta modis inolescere 

Ergo exercentur pcenis, yetemmque 

Supplicia ezpendunt. 
Donee longa dies perfecto temporis orbe 
Concretam ezemit labem, purumque 

^thereum sensum, atque aural simplicis 

Has omnes, ubi mille rotam rolvere per 

Lethaeum ad flurium Dens eyocat ag- 

mine magno : 
Scilicet immemores supera ut conveza 

Rursus et incipiant in corpora Telle 


« Prichard, p. 208. 

* (Jnnefer, the Greek Onnophris. 

* Pint, de Isid. s. 35. 
« Ibid. s. 42. 



[Chap. XIII. 

*good being, and sometimes styled Omphis (Onuphis), which 
signifies a benevolent and beneficent power ;' the word Onuphis 
being evidently the Egyptian appellation of this god Otiofi- 
nofre^ Hhe opener of good/ This was his principal title. He was 
also frequently styled * President of the West,* * Lord of Abydus' 
(which may either be Ehoi^ Abydus, or Ebty the East), ' Lord of 
the World; ' Lord of Life/ * the Eternal Ruler,' and * King of the 
Gods.' These, with many others, are commonly found in the 
hieroglyphic legends accompanying his figure, as may be seen 





I I I 





No. sn. 

8 • 10 

SoDM of the UtlM of Oririi. 



1. ' Owiris dwelUng in Artsn.' 2. * OBlrii, lord of the EMt,' or * Abydos.' 3. * Lord of Taaer/ or • Hades. ' 
4. ' Kttl land.' 6. ' Lord of the living/ 6. * Dwellinf In the Weet.' f . * Lord of an con,' or ^ace/ 
•time.' 8. • Eternal ruler.' ». ' Over the oirele of the gods,' or * nine goda.' 10. ' DirelUng tii Bii> 
■at»' or the gateway leading to Hadee, regtmi of hdL 11. Imperfect ineorlption, *over his crew/ 
12. « OeirlB, king of the go&.' 

in the annexed woodcut ; and the papyri frequently present a 
list of forty-nine names of Osiris in the funeral rituals. 

The custom of applying the name of Osiris both to men and 
women who were supposed to partake sufficiently of the qualities 
of the good being to be worthy that honour, appears to have 
some connection with the Greek notion of Dionysus or Bacchus 
(who was thought to answer to Osiris) being both male and 
female.^ It is also worthy of remark, that Servius, in comment- 
ing on the mystical fan of lacchus ^ of Yirgil, affirms that * the 
sacred rites of Bacchus pertained to the purification of souls.* 

If Osiris was represented as one of the gods of the third 
order ^ (who, according to their extravagant calculation, lived 
15,000 years before the reign of Amasis, and consequently later 

> As in AristidM, p. 52, 8, 10 ; and the Ozphic poems, Hymn 30, and 42, 4. 
' < Mystica Tannos lacchi/ * Herodot. U. 145. 


than HercoleSy Pan, and other deities of the second class), we 
may suppose that this was intended to show that he visited the 
earth siter the religion of Egypt had been long established ; or 
that it was an idea introduced into their religious system sub- 
sequently to the systematic arrangement of the other members 
of their Pantheon. The sculptures, however, of the oldest 
monuments abundantly prove that, if it were of more recent 
introduction, the change must have occurred at a very remote 
period, before the erection of any building now extant in Egypt ; 
as the tombs in the vicinity of the Pyramids, belonging to 
individuals who were contemporary with their founders, show 
that Osiris had at that time the same o£Sces as in the age of the 
Ptolemies and Caesars. 

In an ancient inscription this deity is made to say, * Saturn, 

the youngest of all the gods, was my father ; I am Osiris :' and 

in another, * I am the eldest son of Saturn, of an illustrious 

branch, and of noble blood ; cousin of the day ; there is no place 

where I have not been, and I have liberally distributed my 

benefits to all mankind.* But the character of Osiris given by 

Tibullus,^ as the teacher of agriculture, seems to refer to Ehem 

rmther than to the son oi Seb ; and the attributes of the Egyptian 

Pan have, in more than one instance, been given to Osiris. The 

notion that the gods imparted to men the arts of civilisation, 

was common to the Egyptians as to the Greeks. Nu is re- 

pietented teaching the kings the use of the bow ; Chnoumis 

and Ptah show' them the potter's art; and Thoth instructs 

them in the mode of catching birds with the net, in the art 

of writing, and in everything connected with calculation, 

aedicine, and astronomy. In all cases, however, it was an 

fthftract idea representing the different means by which in- 

tdleetual gifts were imparted from the deity to man. The 

Greeks identified Osiris with Bacchus, ' in consequence of his 

RINtled conquest of India, and some other analogies in the 

•ttribotes or character of those two deities. 'The histories,' 

iiyi Plutarch,^ 'on which the most solemn feasts of Bacchus, the 

TiUiuA and Nuktelia, are founded, exactly correspond with what 

^ tie told of the cutting to pieces of Osiris, of his rising again, 

' TML L Dm. 7. i plat, dt Iiid. s. IS, 37. The attcitti 

[Al Pkiln, thm9 two godt an moe/^, £tocbat of Gre«c« wit rtprtMiiUd with a 

JJIlfci tUj oTwhieh (kirk ^»*Jo ^ ^^ \t%t^\ ih« youthful BMchw, m 

■"■^ whei b« riaui ihi ^orld l C3tsik ^wm. d»Ut «fUr the Uim of Alex- 

»^.J ^ ^^^ « Plut. de Iiid. •. M, 


and of his new life.' He was also supposed to answer to 
Pluto,^ from his oflSce of ruler of Hades or Amenti ; * a circum- 
stance of which the priests/ according to Plutarch,^ ' never speak 
but with the utmost caution and reserve. For the erroneous ac- 
ceptation of this truth has given occasion to much disturbance, 
— ^the minds of the vulgar not being able to conceive how 
the most pure and truly holy Osiris should have his dwelling 
under the earth, amongst the bodies of those who appear to 
be dead. This god is, indeed, removed as far as possible from 
the earth, being free from all communication with such beings 
as are liable to corruption and death. As, therefore, the 
souls of men are not able to participate of the divine nature 
while encompassed with bodies and passions ; so, when they are 
freed from these impediments, and removed into the pure unseen 
regions which are not discernible to our senses, it is then that 
this god becomes their leader and king, and they behold that 
beauty for which Isis has so great an affection.' ^ Osiris,' says 
Diodorus,^ ' has been considered the same as Sarapis,^ Bacchus, 
Pluto, or Ammon. Others have thought him Jupiter, many 
Pan ; and some look upon Sarapis as the same as the Greek 
Pluto.' The historian also endeavours to identify him with the 
sun, as Isis with the moon, — an opinion maintained by other 
ancient writers; but which I have already shown to be at 
variance with the authority of the monuments, and the well- 
known character of Osiris. Many fanciful notions have been 
derived from his fabled rule on earth ; and comparisons have 
been made with Osiris and other deities, which, as in the case of 
Isis, are mere speculations of a late time, totally at variance with 
the opinions of the Egyptians — at least, of those who understood 
their religion and the nature of the gods. Divested, then, of all 
the fancied connection with the sun and the many deities to 
whom Osiris is compared, we see in him the Ooodness of the 
Deity, which was supposed to have been manifested upon earth 
for the benefit of mankind, and in a future state the Judge of 
the world. There were other personages in the lower regions, 
according to the Greek mythology, whose names bear the stamp 
of an Egyptian origin,* though they cannot be themselves 

* Plat, de Isid. ss. 27, 28. Greek, Dionytw and Serapion, — G. W.] 

' Ibid. s. 79. * PUto, in the Gorgias, makes Jupiter 

* Diodor. i. 25. lay that he ' has made his sons judges : 

* [And in the PhoBnician inscription at two from Asia — ^Minos and Rhadaman- 
Malta the names Abd-Onr (slave of Osiris) thus — and one from Europe ;' and that * he 
and OstT'Shamar are in the accompanjing will confer this additional dignitj on 

CiuF. xm.] woBSHip OF osmia 73 

exactly traced amongst the deities of Amenti. These are Minos, 
^£acii8, and RhadamanthuSy the judges of the dead ; in the first 
of which the Egyptian Min or Men is easily recognised, and in 
the last the name of Amenti itself. 

Numerous explanations have been given of the mythological 
history of Osiris, many of which are the result of fancy, as those 
of Diodorus and Macrobius,^ already mentioned. I have stated 
that the principal character of Osiris was the Groodness of the 
Deity, who was supposed to have yisited the world ; but upon 
the story of his imaginary life on earth were engrafted numerous 
allegorical fietbles, and different interpretations were given to 
them, according to the circumstances to which his history 
appeared to be adapted. 

The existence of Osiris on earth was, of course, a speculative 

theory, — an allegory, not altogether unlike the avaiars of the 

Indian Yishnoo ; and some may be disposed to think that the 

Egyptians, being aware of the promises of the real Saviour, had 

anticipated that event, recording it as though it had already 

happened, and introducing that mystery into their religious 

system. Of the mysteries and of the festivals in honour of 

Osiris, we can obtain little or no information from ancient 

aathors. The former were too sacred to be divulged ; and few 

of the Greeks and other strangers were admitted even into those 

of the lesser order. They were divided into the greater and 

mysteries; and before admission into the former, it was 

that the initiated should have passed through all the 

fpadaticms of the latter. But, to merit this great honour, much 

expected of the candidate, and many even of the priesthood 

unable to obtain it Besides the proofs of a virtuous life, 

fisher reoommendations were required ; and to be admitted to all 

the grades of the higher mysteries, was the greatest honour to 

vUdi anyone could aspire. It was from these that the mysteries 

^Elsiisis' were borrowed : for, though celebrated in honour of 

Osris» they applied more immediately to Isis, and to the grief 

^ felt for the loss of her consort, as the former recorded the 

kaentatioDS of Ceres at the fiette of her daughter. The Thes- 

^ophorisy in honour of the same goddess, were also derived from 

^tJt^ Herodotus mentions a ceremony on the Lake of Sidis, 

ii which the history of Osiris was represented. They styled it 

ht thall d€ddt wbnUrer CTtylor, Tniu. It. p. 453.) 
mfUimenUhk to thtathtr Jndf^* ijH^crob. Stian. L 21. « Diod. i. 29. 


the Mysteries. 'Though/ adds the historian^^ 'I am well 
acquainted with themi I refrain from revealing any, as well as 
those relating" to the institutions of Ceres, called by the Greeks 
Thesmophoria ; and I shall only mention as much of them as my 
religion permits. The daughters of Danaus brought them firom 
Egypt, and taught them to the Pelasgic women ; but at length, 
the Dorians having expelled the ancient inhabitants of Pelo- 
ponnesus, these rites were lost, except amongst the Arcadians, 
who, not being driven out of the country, continued to preserve 
them.' ^ At Sais,' says the same author, ^ they show the sepulchre 
of him whom I do not think it right to mention on this occasion : 
it is in the sacred enclosure, behind the temple of Minerva, and 
close to the wall of this temple, whose whole length it occupies.* 
' They also meet at Sais to offer sacrifice ' during a certain night, 
when every one lights in the open air a number of lamps around 
his house. The lamps consist of small cups filled with salt and 
oU, having a wick floating in it which bums all night. This 
fSte is called that of the burning lamps. The Egyptians who 
are unable to attend also observe the sacrifice and bum lamps 
at home ; so that not only at Sais, but throughout Egypt^ the 
same illumination takes place. They assign a sacred reason 
for the fgte celebrated on this night, and the respect they havo- 
for if 

Of the ceremonies during the &te of Busiris, I shall speak in 
describing the goddess Isis. It was held in honour of her and of 
Osiris; Busiris, like Philae, Abydus, Memphis, Taposiris, and 
other places, claiming the honour of being the supposed boiial- 
place * of this mysterious deity. 

Having noticed the metaphysical character of Osiris, I proceed 
to examine some of the allegories founded upon his fabulous 
history ; though, as already stated, I believe them to be for the 
most part mere fanciful speciilations, forming no part of their 
religious belief, but rather designed to amuse the ignorant and 
satisfy the people with a plausible story ; while the real purport 
of all connected with ike deity was reserved for those alone 
who were admitted to a participation of the mysteries. 

Of these, the principal one is that in which he is compared to 
the NUe, and Isis to the land of Egypt. 'By Osiris,' says 
Plutarch,^ 'they mean the Nile; by Isis, that part of the 

> Herodoi. IL 171. ' Pint, de Itid. s. 2L 

* Ibid. tt. 62. * U>id s. 82. 


oonntry which Osiris or the Nile overflows ; and by Typho, the 
sea, which, by receiving the Nile as it runs into it, does as it 
were tear it into many pieces, and entirely destroy it, except- 
ing only so much of it as is admitted into the bosom of the earth 
in its passage over it, which is thereby rendered fertile.' And 
the notion of Osiris being bom on the right side of the world, 
and perishing on the left, is explained ^ by the rising of the Nile 
in the south country, which is the left, and running northwards 
till it is swallowed up by the sea.' 

The story of the supposed life of Osiris is briefly as follows.^ 
' Osiris, having become king of Egypt, applied himself towards 
ci^Uising his countrymen, by turning them from their former 
barbarous course of Ufe, teaching them moreover to cultivate and 
improve the fruits of the earth. . . . With the same good dis- 
position, he afterwards travelled over the rest of the world, in- 
dnoing the people everywhere to submit to his discipline, by the 

mildest persuasion During his absence from his kingdom, 

Typho bad no opportunity of making any innovations in the 

state, Isis being extremely vigilant in the government, and 

always on her guard. After his return, however, having first 

persuaded seventy-two other persons to join with him in the 

conspiracy, together with a certain queen of Ethiopia named 

Aso, who chanced to be in Egypt at the time, he contrived a 

proper stratagem to execute his base designs: for, having 

privily taken the measure of Osiris's body, he caused a chest to 

be made exactly of that size, as beautiful as possible, and set off 

with all the ornaments of art This chest he brought into the 

banqueting room, where after it had been much admired by all 

^esent, Typho, as if in jest, promised to give it to any one of 

them whose body upon trial it might be found to fit. Upon this, 

the whole company, one after the other, got into it ; but as it 

did not fit any of them, last of all Osiris laid himself down in it ; 

upon which the conspirators immediately ran together, clapped 

on the cover, and then, fastening it on the outside with nails, 

ponied melted lead over it. After this, having carried it away 

to the river-side, they conveyed it to the sea by the Tanaitic 

i&cmth of the Nile, which for this reason is still held in the 

^itmoBt abhorrence by the Egyptians, and never named by them 

but with proper marks of detestation. These things happened 

ott the 17th day of the month Athyr, when the sun was in 

' Plat, de Uid. ». 13. 



Scorpio, in the 28th year of Osiris's reign ; though others say 
he was no more than twenty-eight years old at the time. The 
first who knew the accident that had befallen their king, were the 
Pans and Satyrs who lived about Chemmis ; and they, immediately 
acquainting the people with the news, gaye the first occasion to 

the name of Panie terrors Isis, as soon as the report reached 

her, cut off one of the locks of her hair, and put on mourning ; 
whence the spot where she then happened to be has ever since 
been called Koptos, or the city of mourning. And being in- 
formed that Osiris, deceived by her sister Nephthys, who was in 
love with him, had unwittingly taken her to his embraces instead 
of herself, as she concluded from the melilot-garland which he 
had left with her, she proceeded to search out the child, the 
fruit of their unlawful union. For her sister, dreading the 
anger of her husband Typho, had exposed it as soon as it was 
bom ; and it was not without great di£Sculty that, by means of 
some dogs, she discovered the place of its concealment. Having 
found it, she bred it up ; and it afterwards obtained the name of 
Anubis.' 'At length she received more particular news of the 
chest. It had been carried by the waves of the sea to the coast 
of By bios, and there gently lodged in the branches of a tamarisk 
bush, which in a short time had shot up into a large tree, growing 
round the chest, and enclosing it on every side, so that it could 
not be seen ; and the king of the country, having cut down the 
tree, had made the part of the trunk wherein the chest was con- 
cealed, a pillar to support the roof of his house. . . . Isis, having 
gone to Byblos, obtained possession of this pillar, and then set 
sail with tiiie chest for Egypt. . . . But intending a visit to her 
son Horus (Orus), who was brought up at Butus, she deposited the 
chest in the meantime in a remote and unfrequented place. 
Typho, however, as he was one night hunting by the light of 
the moon, accidentally met with it, and, knowing the body en- 
closed in it, tore it into fourteen pieces, disposing them up and 
down in different parts of the country. Being acquainted with 
this event, Isis set out once more ^ in search of the scattered 
members of her husband's body, using a boat made of the papyrus 
rush, in order more easily to pass through the lower and fenny 
parts of the country • • • . And one reason assigned for the many 
dififerent sepulchres of Osiris shown in Egypt, is, that wherever 
any one of his scattered limbs was discovered, she buried it in that 

1 Pint de laid. s. 18. 

Chap. XIH.] • HI8T0BT OP OSIRIS. 77 

spot ; though others suppose that it was owing to an artifice of the 
queen, who presented each of those cities with an image of her 
husband, in order that, if Tjpho should overcome Horus in the 
approaching conquest, he might be unable to find the real sepul- 
chre. Isis succeeded in recovering all the different members, with 
the exception of one, which had been devoured by the Lepidotus, 
the Phagrus, and the Oxyrhynchus ; for which reason these fish 
are held in abhorrence by the Egyptians. To make amends, 
therefore, for this loss, she consecrated the Phallus, and instituted 
a solemn festival to its memory.' ' A battle at length took place 
between Horus and Typho, in which the latter was taken 
prisoner. Isis, however, to whose custody he was committed, so 
£Ekr from putting him to death, set him at liberty; which so 
incensed Horus, that he tore off the royal diadem she wore ; but 
Hermes substituted in its stead a helmet made in the shape of 
an ox's head. After this, Typho publicly accused Horus of 
illegitimacy ; but, with the assistance of Hermes, the question 
was set at rest by the judgment of the gods themselves ; and at 
length two other battles were fought, in which Typho was 
defeated. It is also related that Isis had intercourse with Osiris 
after his death, and, in consequence, brought forth Harpocrates, 
who came into the world before his time, and lame in his lower 
limbs.' Proceeding with the examination of the different parts 
of this allegorical fable, Plutarch observes ^ that, * Osiris being 
the inundation of the Nile, and Isis the land irrigated by it,' 
from the conjunction of these two, Horus was bom, meaning 
thereby that just and seasonable temperature of the circumambient 
air which preserves and nourishes all things. Horus is, moreover, 
fl;uppoeed to have been brought up by Latona, in the marshy 
oountry about Butus, because a moist and watery soil is best 
adapted to produce those vapours and exhalations which serve 
to relax the excessive drought arising from heat. In like manner, 
they call the extreme limits of their country, their confines, and 
sea-shores, Nephthys, Teleute, or the end, whom they suppose to 
have been married to Typho. Now, as the overflowings of the 
Nile are sometimes very great, and extend to the boundaries of 
the land, this gave rise to the story of the secret intercourse 
between Osiris and Nephthys, as the natural consequence of so 
gvBst an inundation would be the springing up of plants in those 
pvts of the country which were formerly barren. Hence they 

> Pint, de bid. f. 38. 


imagine that Typho was first made acquainted with the infidelity 
of his wife by tiie melilot-garland which fell from the head of 
Osiris while in her company ; and that the legitimacy of Homa^ 
the son of Isis, may thus be explained^ as well as the ill^timacy 
of Anubisi who was bom of Nephthys. * Furthermore, by the 
conspiracy of Typho, and his tyranny, are to be understood 
the force and power of drought, which overcome the moiatnie 
whence the increase of the Nile proceeds. His being assisted 
by the queen of Ethiopia refers to the southern winds 
blowing from that country; which when strong enough to 
prevail against the Etesian or annual northern ones, that carry 
the clouds towards Ethiopia, prevent those showers of rain firom 
falling and contributing to the increase of the Nile. ... As to 
the shutting up of Osiris in a chest, this signifies the withdraw- 
ing of the Nile within its own banks, when the Etesian winds 
have ceased, which happens in the month Athyr. About this 
time, in consequence of the increasing length of the nights, the 
power of darkness appearing to prevail, whilst that of light is 
diminished, the priests practise doleful rites, in token of the 
grief of the goddess. One of these is to expose to public view a 
gilded ox, covered with a pall of fine black linen ; this animal 
being regarded as the living image of Osiris. The ceremony 
lasts four days, beginning on the 17th of the month, and is in- 
tended to represent four things : — 1st, the falling of the Nile, 
and its return within its own channel ; 2nd, the ceasing of the 
north winds ; 3rd, the length of the nights and decrease of the 
days ; and, lastly, the destitute condition in which the land then 
appears. Thus they commemorate what they call the loss of 
Osiris. But upon liie 19 th of the month Fachon, they march in 
procession towards the sea, whither the ttdisUd and priests cany 
the sacred chest, containing a vessel of gold, into which they 
pour some river-water, and all present exclaim, ^^ Osiris is found." 
Then throwing fresh mould into the water, and mixing with it 
aromatics and precious incense, they make an image in the form 
of a crescent, which is dressed up and adorned, to show that these 
gods are the powers of earth and water.^ 

^ Isis having recovered the body of Osiris, and brought her 
son Horus to maturity (whose strength, by means of exhalations 

> Clem. Reoogn. lib. z. 27: ^Osiri dorns, lib. iz. ; and Clem. HomiL tL 9: 

aquam, Hammoni arietem ;' Origen, V. in ' aquam terri inferiorem. . . . Odrin 

Celsum, p. 65: 'Osiris water, and Isis AUiciipAnmt.' 
earth;' or the Kilo, according to Halio* 


and clouds, was continually increasing), Typho was in his turn 
conquered, though not totally destroyed. For the goddess, who 
is the earth, in order to maintain a proper temperament of heat 
and cold, would not permit this enemy of moisture to be quite 
extinguished, but loosed his bonds and set him at liberty, well 
knowing that it was impossible for the world to subsist in per- 
fection, if the force of heat was totally extinguished.' 

To sum up the details of this story according to the foregoing 
interpretation, we may apply to each its distinct meaning, as 
follows : — Osiris, the inundation of the Nile. Isis, the irrigated 
portion of the land of Egypt. Horus, their offspring, the vapours 
and exhalations reproducing rain. Bute, Latona, the marshy 
lands of Lower Egypt, where those yapours were nourished. 
Nephthys, the edge of the desert, occasionally overflowed during 
the high inundations. Anubis, the son of Osiris and Nephthys, 
the production of that barren soil, in consequence of its being 
overflowed by the Nile. Typho, the sea, which swallowed up 
the Nile water. The conspirators, the drought overcoming the 
moisture, from which the increase of the NUe proceeds. The 
chest in which Osiris's body was confined, the banks of the river, 
within which it retired after the inundation. The Tancatic 
mouth, the lake and barren lands about it, which were held in 
abhorrence firom their being overflowed by the river without 
producing any benefit to the country. The twenty-eight years 
of his life, the ' twenty-eight cubits to which the NUe rises at 
Elephantine, its greatest height.'^ The 17th of Athor, the 
period when the river retires within its banks. The queen of 
Ethiopia, the southern winds preventing the clouds being 
carried southwards. The different members of Osiris's body, the 
main channels and canals by which the inundation passed into 
the interior of the country, where each was said to be afterwards 
buried. That one which could not be recovered was the genera- 
tive power of the Nile, which still continued in the stream itself; 
ov, as Plutarch thinks, it was said to have been thrown into the 
river, because * water or moisture was the first matter upon which 
the generative power of the deity operated, and that principle 
by means of which all things capable of being were produced.' 
Th» victory of Horus, the power possessed by the clouds in 
cansing the successive inundations of the Nile. Harpocrates, 
whom Isis brought forth about the winter solstice, those 

' Plat de Isid. s. 43. 


weak shootiDgs of the com produced after the innndation had 

According to another interpretation,^ ^by Typho is meant 
the orb of the sun, and by Osiris that of the moon ; the former 
being of a scorching, the latter of a moistening and prolific, 
nature. When, therefore, they say that Osiris's death happened 
on the 17th day of the month, it means that the moon is then at 
its full, and from that time is continually on the wane. In like 
manner, Osiris is said to have lived or reigned twenty-eight years, 
alluding to the number of days in which she performs her course 
round the earth. As to his being torn into fourteen pieces, this 
is supposed to mark out the number of days in which the moon 
is continually decreasing from the full to its change; and by 
the war between Typho and Horus is meant, that in this terres- 
trial system sometimes the principle of corruption prevails, and 
sometimes that of generation, though neither of them is ever 
able entirely to conquer or destroy the other.' 

For other explanations of this history, I refer the reader to 
Plutarch's treatise of Isis and Osiris ; who very properly observes, 
that We are not to suppose the adventures there related to be 
* really true, or ever to have happened in fact.'^ He treats it, as 
it reidly was, in the light of a metaphysical question ; for, he 
adds, he alone is competent to understand it, ' who searches into 
the hidden truths it contains, and examines the whole by the 
dictates of reason and philosophy.'^ * And taking a proper view 
of these matters, we must neither look upon water, nor the sun, 
nor the earth, nor the heavens, simply as Osiris and Isis ; nor 
must we by Typho understand either fire, or drought, or the sea ; 
but, in general, whatever in these bodies is irregular and dis- 
orderly, or whatever is bad, is to be attributed to Typho ; as, on 
the contrary, whatever is good and salutary is the operation of 
Isis and the image of Osiris.'*^ 

Many, however, were disposed to clothe with reality all the 
emblematic characters of Osiris, looking upon abstract ideas or 
allegories as positive facts. With this view, they deemed him 
the deity of humidity, instead of the abstract quality or benefit 
arising from it ; and hence ^ the votaries of Osiris abstained from 
destroying a fruit-tree, or marring any springs of water.'* A 
similar notion also induced them ^ to carry a water-jar at the 
head of the sacred processions in honour of this god.' ^ 

1 Plat, de laid. s. 65. * Ibid. ss. 11, 20. * Ibid. s. 64. ' n>{d. f. 36. 

• Ibid. t. 41. « Ibid. s. 3. • Ibid. s. 35. 


In the fabulous history of Osiris, we may trace a notion, 
common to all nations, of a god who in the early ages of their 
history^ lived on earth, and was their king, their instructor, and 
even the father of their race ; who taught them the secrets of 
husbandry, the arts of ciyilisation, and the advantages of social 
intercourse; and who, extending his dominion over the whole 
world, permitted all mankind to partake of his beneficent in- 
fluence. They represent him to have been assailed by the 
malignant attacks of some monster, or enemy of man, either as 
an evil principle, or the type of a destructive power. He is 
sometimes exposed to the waters of the sea — an evident allusion 
to the great deluge — from which he is saved by taking refuge 
in a cavern, or by means of a floating island, a lotus, or a snake, 
which bears him safely to the summit of a mountain. He is 
frequently aided by the interposition of some female companion, 
who is his sister, his daughter, or his wife, and the mother, as he 
is the father, of the human race^ which springs from their three 
sons ; like the family of Adam, repeated in that of Noah. But 
though we observe some analogy between these and the history 
of Osiris, it is only in particular points that any positive resem- 
blance can be admitted : the o£Bce of Osiris was of a more im- 
portant character than that usually assigned to the hero-god and 
parent of man ; as the notion of a trinity was of a more exalted 
nature than that given to the material work of its hands — the 
three sons of Noah and his prototype. 

Osiris is frequently represented of a black colour, as Plutarch 

observes,* but more usually green ; and when Judge of Amenti, 

he has the form of a mummied figure, holding in his crossed 

hands the crook and flagellum, which is the mystical vanniM — 

^ whose fan is in his hand.' He is clad in pure white, and wears 

on his head the cap of Upper Egypt decked with ostrich-feathers ; 

which head-dress, if not exclusively, at least particularly, belongs 

to this deity. In the sculptures, a spotted skin is sometimes 

suspended near him — an emblem supposed to connect him with 

the Greek Bacchus;^ and occasionally assuming the character 

of • stability,* he appears with his head and even face covered 

with the four-barred symbol,* which in hieroglyphics has that 

The BWh«ree tribe of Arabs still speak instances where this is introduced show it 

•I tb«r founder Bega, who was their first to be the leopard or panther ; which, as 

P»wt as well as god. well as the nebris, belonged to Bacchus. 

, rlttt. de bid. s. 33. « Woodcut No. 518. Osiris was also 

WodoT. L U. The skin is nsnallr en lied Lord of 7a«M, or the city of the Tat, 

Tn"««ited without the head ; bat some supposed to be Busiris.— a B. 

vou in. Q 



[Chap. XM. 

fflgniflcatioD, and which may also refer to the intellect of die 

In fonner times, the fonr-baiied symbol of stability waa 
mistaken for a Kilometer, aa the sign of life or enue aiueUa waa 
compelled to submit to the unintel- 
ligible name of ' Key of the Nil&' So 
^ 1 tax, however, is the latter from any con- 

^ _____ nection with the aver, that it is leas 

frequently seen in tibe hand of t^e god 
Nilos than any deity of the Egyptian 
Pantheon ; and the former never occurs 
among the nomeroua emblems or offer- 
ings he beara. It is represented as a 
sort of stand or anpport in workmen's 
shops, where, for the sake of the gooda 
they wished to Bell, we may charitably 
hope it required no graduated Nilometet 
to measure the height of the intmaive 

Osiria also takes the character of the 
god Bennu, with the head of a crane, 
peculiarised by a tuft of two long fea- 
thers ; and he sometimes appears as a 
human figure, with a simple cap aui- 
mounted by two ostrich plumea. The 
atatementof Plutarch,' that the dress of 
Osiris was of one uniform shining colour, 
is confirmed by the paintings, which 
generally represent him clad in white. 
Isis was dressed in robes of various hues, because, according 
to the same writer, 'her power was wholly conversant about 
maUer, which becomes all things and admits all, light and 
darkness, day and night, fire and water, life and death, beginning 
and end.' Osiris also appears, when in the character of Socharia- 
Osiris, with the head of a hawk.' Under that title he has some 
connection with Ptah ; and it is then that he is considered to 
have risen from the dead after his visit to the world. The 
phallic ceremonies, said to have been performed in honour of 
Osiris, appear rather to have belonged to the generative principle 
of the deity worshipped under the name of Khem; though 

I 'Sfpt, Cutur ol 


period, is found chiefly in connection with that of the sepulchres, 
and the tablets and other objects of the dead are consecrated to 
him. The principal incidents detailed by Plutarch are found in 
the different inscriptions, with some additional ones : his identifi- 
cation with the principal deities of Egypt as the son of Ba and 
emanation of the god Ptah ; his proceeding from the north of the 
sea ; the scarabaeus, the living type of Ptah and Ba, proceeding 
from his nostril ; his representation by two crocodiles or a serpent, 
and his assimilation to the god Sebak, and the recovery of his 
limbs in the water by Horus in the shape of a crocodile ; his 
personification of the earth, and his rule over the sand and 
Anrut, or land of sterility, and Egypt being the eye of Osiris ; 
his connection with the Apis as the black bull and bull of the 
west ; his residence in the sycamore-tree and the nor or tamarisk, 
with the Bennu personified as his soul; his mystical annular 
shape, and his festival of dwelling in the Amenti on the 16th of 
the month Choeak.^ The myth of Osiris in its details — ^the 
laying out of his body by his wife Isis and his sister Nephthys, 
the reconstruction of his limbs, his mystical chest, and other 
incidents connected with his myth — ^are represented in detail in 
the temple of Philae. 

It is principally, however, as the one dwelling in the West, 
and the judge of the Hall of the Two Truths, or of the dead, and 
awarder of the final judgment, that Osiris is seen wearing the 
atef, seated on his throne, attended by Isis and Nephthys, while 
the heart of the deceased is weighed in a scale against the 
feather of truth. The deceased being led in by Ma, Truth, or 
Anubis, Thoth records the judgment ; and the lotus of the sun, 
with the four gods or genii, as they are called, of the dead, are 
seen ; while the -4m, or the devouring Cerberus of the Egyptian 
Hell, and the forty-two avenging daemons, each the punisher 
of a fault, are seated before him awaiting the final decree of 
Osiris.— S. B.] 

Each town had its protecting deity, who presided over 
it ; and the post of honour in the adytum, as in the most con- 
spicuous parts of the temple erected in his honour, was assigned 
to him. The peculiar triad of the place also held a prominent 
station in the sculptures ; and to the contemplar gods was 
assigned a post according to the consideration they there enjoyed* 
But the deities worshipped in the towns of one nome^ or province 

Lefebnre, *Le Mythe Osirien,' Paris, 1874-75, 


of Egypt, did not always receive the same honours in another ; 

and it frequently happened that, though acknowledged to be 

deities of their country and treated with every mark of respect, 

many of them were omitted in the list of contemplar gods. This 

must necessarily have happened in small temples, which could 

only admit a portion of the Egyptian Pantheon, especially as the 

tutelary deity of the place alone occupied many and the choicest 

places. But few temples, if any, denied a post to Isis and Osiris, 

*the greatest of all the gods.'^ *For,' says Herodotus, *the 

Egyptians do not give equal honours to all their gods, and the 

only two to whom the same worship is universally paid are Isis 

and Osiris/* With regard to the sacred animals, they were 

looked upon with feelings so different in various parts of the 

country, that those worshipped in one town were often held in 

abhorrence in another ; as is shown by the civil war between 

the Oxyrhynchites and the people of Cynopolis, mentioned by 

Plutarch,' and by a similar contest related in Juvenal^ between 

the people of Ombos and Tentyris. But, as I have elsewhere 

observed, though the objects of their worship varied, it is not 

probable that such excesses were committed in early times, 

daring the rule of their native princes. Philae and Abydus were 

the two places where Osiris was particularly worshipped ; and so 

sacred was the former, that no one was permitted to visit that 

holy island without express permission ; and in the temple which 

still remains there, his mysterious history is recorded in the 

manner already mentioned. Besides the celebration of the great 

mysteries, which took place at Philae, as at S^uis and Busiris, a 

grand ceremony was performed at a particular time, when the 

priests in solemn procession visited his tomb and crowned it with 

flowers.* Plutarch even pretends that all access to the island 

was forbidden at every other period, and that no bird would fly 

over, or fish swim near, this consecrated ground. ^ The sepulchre 

of Osiris at Philce,* says Diodorus,* * is revered by all the priests 

thioughout Egypt ; and 860 cups are filled daily with milk ^ by 

priests expressly appointed for this purpose, who, calling on the 

iiames of the gods, utter a solemn lamentation ; wherefore the 

idand can only be approached by the priests ; and the most 

aolenm oath taken by the inhabitants of the Thebaid is to swear 

by Onris, who lies buried at PhilsB.' The temple of this deity 

» Hcrodot ii. 40. * Ibid. ii. 42. » Plat, de IsM. s. 72. 

• Jut. Sftt IT. 36. • Plat, de hid. s. 21. • Diodor. i. 22. 

' Milk wu oMd ia tarly times for libations, as by Romalas. 


at Abydus was also particularly honoured ; and so holy was the 
place itself considered by the Egyptians^ that persons liying at 
some distance from it sought, and perhaps with difficulty ob- 
tained, permission to possess a sepulchre within its necropolis ; 
in order that, after death, they might repose in ground hallowed 
by the tomb of this great and mysterious deity. This fact is 
noticed by Plutarch,^ and confirmed by the discovery of inscrip- 
tions there, which state the deceased were natives of Thebes and 
other places. I have observed that Memphis, Busiris, Taposiris, 
and other towns also claimed the honour of being the burial- 
places of Osiris ; ^ and the reason that Apis, ^ which they looked 
upon as the image of the soul of Osiris, was kept at Memphis, 
seems to have been in order to place it as near his body as 
possible.'^ Indeed, the name of that city, which signifies the 
' place of good/ appears to refer to, and perhaps to have been 
called from, Osiris, who was the ' Goodness ' of the Deity ; and 
from its being his reputed burial-place, and the abode of his 
representative on earth, the bull Apis, we may find reason to 
prefer this explanation to that given by Plutarch,^ who considers 
Memphis to mean the ^ haven of good men.' The name of 
Busiris implies,^ as Diodorus observes,* the burial-place of Osiris; 
and the same interpretation is given to Taposiris, though the 
word is not Egyptian as the former, but Greek ; as are most of 
the names of towns mentioned by ancient writers. 

Osiris was also worshipped under the form of Apis, the sacred 
bull of Memphis, or as a human figure with a bull's head, ac- 
companied by the name ^ Apis-Osiris.' According to Plutarch,^ 
^Apis was a fair and beautiful image of the soul of Osiris;' 
and the same author^ tells us that 'Mnevis, the sacred ox of 
Heliopolis, was also dedicated to Osiris, and honoured by the 
Egyptians with a reverence next to that paid to Apis, whose 
sire some pretend him to be.' This agrees with the statement 
of Diodorus, who says, Apis and Mnevis were both sacred to 
Osiris, and worshipped as gods throughout the whole of Egypt ;* 
and Plutarch suggests that, from these well-known representa- 
tions of Osiris, the people of Elis and Argos derived the idea of 

* Plut. de hid. s. 20. * There was more than one place in 

* The text gires the following places of Egypt of this name. (Diodor. L 17 ; waA 
which Oairia was said to be lord: — Tatiu, Plin. r. 10, and zzzri 12.) 

or Bosiris ; Abutj or Abydoe \ and Sem^ or * Diodor. i. 88. 

Ammty the West.— S. B. ' Plat, de Isid. at. 29 and SO. 

' Plat, de Isid. s. 20. " Ibid. s. 33. 

« Ibid. 8. 21. • Diodor. L 21. 

Cur. XnLI 



Baccbas with an ox'a liead; Bocchns being reputed to be tbe 
Mme as Osiris. Herodotus,* in describing him, sajs, 'Apis, 
also called Epapboa, is a young bull, whose mother can have 
DO other offsprisg, and who is re- 
ported by the Egyptians to conceive 
from lightning sent &om heaven, 
and thus to produce the god Apis. 
He is known by certain marks : his 
hair is black ; on his forehead is a 
white triangular spot, on his back 
an eagle, and a beetle under his 
tongue, and the hair of bis tail is 
duuble.' Ovid speaks of him as 
wxriia edortbta Apia, Strabo de- 
scribe* him with the forehead and 
some parts of his body of a white 
colour, the rest being black, by 
which signs they fix upon a new 

one to succeed the other when he 

dies. Plotarch* observes that, 'on 

acconnt of the great resemblance 

'they imagine between Osiris and tbe 

aooon, bis more bright and shining 

jiarts being shadowed and obscured 

l>y those that are of a darker hue, 

tUiey call the Apis the living image 

of Osiris, and suppose him begotten 

\xf a ray of generative light, flowing from the moon, and 

fixing upon his dam at a time when she was strongly dis- 
fnaed for generation.'* Pliny* speaks of Apis ' having a white 
•pot in the form of a crescent upon his right side, and a lump 
vnder his tongue in the form of a beetle.' Ammianus Marcel- 
linos* says the white crescent on his right side was the principal 
ngn by which he was known : and ^lian mentions twenty-nine 
Bttki by which he was recognised, each referable to some mystic 
'^fication. But he pretends that the Egyptians did not allow 
tW given by Herodotus and Aristagoras. Some suppose him 
entirely black ; and othen contend that certain marks, as the 

■r-bi^ (MrtHApto. or SinpU. 

. B of til* wo] of that goi, 

Mil d« lild. t. 43. UlDt <^1«1 oiX •'«• «<• Ptak, ' tha Uemd 

' >i ippsn fron th* iMcriptlou •( tk« llf* of Ptak.'— S. B. 
"tnm U Mmphb, that ApU n pro- ' PI>B. rill. M. 

n4 k; Pub ost of ■ Uiht, ud h« *«, * Ana. Muotllla. uU. 14. 


[Cbap. xm. 

predominating black colour, and &e beetle <m his tongae, show 
lum to be consecrated to tlie sun, as the crescent to the moon. 
AmmianuB MarcelliniiB and others say that ' Apis was sacred to 
the moon, Mnevis to the son ;' and most authors seem to describe 
the latter of a black colour. With regard to the accuracy or 
inaccuracy of Herodotus respecting the peculiar marks of Apis, it 

is difficult ta determine. There is, howeTer, evidence from the 
bronzes discovered in Egypt, that the vulture (not eagle) on bis 
back was one of his characteristics, supplied, no doubt, like 
many others, by the priests themselves.' 

To Apis belonged all the clean oxen chosen for sacrifice; 
the necessary requisite for which, according to Herodotus,* was, 

fR"I ^?^1 



that they should be entirely free from black spots, or even a 
single black hair ; though, as I shall have occasion to remark 
in treating of the sacrifices, this statement of the historian is far 
from accurate. It may also be doubted if the name Epaphus, 
by which he says Apis was called by the Greeks in their 
8 of Greek origin.* 

' TheM marka wer* inpposad to be Amnd 
In th« confannatiDii of the hsir, ud there 
wu a particular kind of prieiti or eiperti 
who examined the cattle for that purpoH. 
The perpetual laccauion of the Apli and 
hii discorerj by certain marka recalla to 
mind the incceaaioo ot Badhi, and their 
conatant preMmoe in the world ai an in- 

caniate deity. The history of the incar- 
nation or the Apia, hie worihip, and that 
of hia dirine mother, will be foond in 
Uariette, 'M«moin mr la Uire d'Apb,' 
a»o. Paria, 1856.— S. B. 

' Hetodot. II. 38. 

■ Ibid, it 28, Hi ; and iiL 37. 


He is called in the hieroglyphic legends Hapi;^ and the 
bnll, the demonstratiye and figurative sign following his name, 
is accompanied by the erux ansata, or emblem 
of life. It has seldom any ornament on its ^v* 

head ; but the figure of Apis- (or Hapi-) Osiris JB 

generally wears the globe of the sun, and the 
asp, the symbol of divine majesty ; which are 

also given to the bronze figures of this bull. J 

Memphis was the place where Apis was kept, JJ 

and where his worship was particularly observed. ^®A2?-h«5r&ISIpu?' 
He was not merely looked upon as an emblem, CHierogiyphicai name ©r 

_ ^1. I rM. 1 1 ApKintheAplBUblets 

but, as Pliny and Cicero say, was deemed * a ?« swjqitra (Memphb). 

, Vi • 99 1 ri 1 « 11 1 . He M CAlled Apl»- 

god by the Egyptians : * and Strabo' calls Apis omm id the legend 
the same as Osiris. Psammatichus^ there erected 
a grand court, ornamented with figures in lieu of columns twelve 
cubits in height, forming a peristyle around it, in which he was 
kept when exhibited in public. Attached to it were probably the 
two stables, * delubra * or * thalami,' mentioned by Pliny : * and 
8trabo says, ' Before the enclosure where Apis is kept, is a vestibule, 
in which also the mother of the sacred bull is fed ; and into this 
vestibule Apis is sometimes introduced, in order to be shown to 
strangers. After being brought out for a little while, he is again 
taken back. At other times he is only seen through a window.' 
' The temple of Apis is close to that of Vulcan ; which last is re^ 
markable for its architectural beauty, its extent, and the richness 
of its decoration.' The festival in honour of Apis lasted seven 
days ; on which occasion a large concourse of people assembled 
at Memphis. The priests then led the sacred bull in solemn 
procession, every one coming forward from their houses ,to 
welcome him as he passed ; and Pliny and Solinus affirm that 
children who smelt his breath were thought to be thereby gifted 
with the power of predicting future events. 

Diodorus* derives the worship of Apis from the belief of 
*the soul of Osiris having migrated into this animal, who was 
thus supposed to manifest himself to man through successive 
ages; though some report that the members of Osiris when 

* [TKU name Hapi is the same they ' Cicero, de Nat. Deor. 1. Plin. riii. 4C. 

f»Te to the gcA Nilus ; and the penonifi- ' Strabo, xrii. p. 555. When iElian 

cation of nrm as bulls was not confined (xi. 10) says, 'They compare Apis to Horus, 

^ ^Cypt ; it is found also among the being the cause of fertility/ he evidently 

Gmks, as In the story of Hercules and means Osiris. 

th« AcheloOs, Itc (Conf. Horace, 40d xir * Herodot. ii. 153. 

25: » Sic Tolvitur iaufiforifut AufiL. '^ * PHn. riii. 46. 



killed by Tjpho haying been deposited in a wooden ox, en- 
veloped in byssine cloths, gaye the name to the city of Busiri^ 
and established its worship there.' When the Apis died/ certain 
priests chosen for this duty went in quest of another, who was 
known from the signs mentioned in the sacred books. As soon 
as he was found, they took him to the City of the Nile, prepara- 
tory to his removal to Memphis, where he was kept forty days ; 
during which period women ^ alone were permitted to see him. 
These forty days being completed, he was placed in a boat, with 
a golden cabin, prepared to receive him, and he was conducted 
in state down the Nile to Memphis. Pliny and Ammianus 
Marcellinus, however, affirm that they led the bull Apis to the 
fountain of the priests, and drowned him with much ceremony, 
as soon as the time prescribed in the sacred books was fulfilled. 
This Plutarch states to be twenty-five years, the square of five^ 
and the same number as the letters of the Egyptian alphabet,' 
beyond which it was forbidden that he should live ; and having 
thus put him to death, they, with great lamentations, sought 
another to take his place. His body was embalmed, and a 
grand funeral procession took place at Memphis, when his coffin, 
'placed on a sledge, was followed by the priests,' ^dressed in the 
spotted skins of fawns, bearing the thyrsus in their hands, 
uttering the same cries, and making the same gesticulations as 
the votaries of Bacchus during the ceremonies in honour of that 
god.'^ This resemblance, however, to the Bacchic rites will cease 
to be as striking as Plutarch supposes, when we observe that the 
spotted skins were merely the leopard-skin dresses worn by the 
pontifis on all grand ceremonies, which I have had frequent 
occasion to mention. The thyrsus was probably either their 
stafi* of office, the long-handled censer, or the vase for libation — 
the last two being usually carried by the high priests when 
about to officiate, either at the temple or the tomb. They relate 
that when the Apis died a natuml death, his obsequies were 
celebrated on the most magnificent scale; and to such ex«> 
travagance was this carried, that those who had the office of 
taking charge of him were often ruined by the heavy expenses 
entailed upon them. On one occasion, during the reign of the 
first Ptolemy, upwards of fifty talents were borrowed to de&ay 

* Pint, de bid. 8. 56. ' On the Apis cycle, see Leftsiiis, 

* The rest of the sUtement, which at 'Einleit.,' and <Ueber den Apiskreis,' Zeit. 
most could only be hearsay, is improbable; derO. M. G. Leipsig, 1853. 

unless, perhaps, in Roman tiroes. * Pint, de IskL s. 35. 


the necessary cost of his funeral;^ 'and in our time/ says Dio- 
doros, * the curators of other sacred animals have expended one 
hundred talents in their burial/ 

As soon as he was buried, permission was given to the priests 
to enter the temple of Sarapis,^ though previously forbidden 
during the whole of the festival. From whatever cause the 
death of Apis took place, the people performed a public lamen- 
tation/ as if Osiris himself had died : and this mourning lasted 
until the other Apis, his successor, had been fotmd. They then 
oommenced their rejoicings, which were celebrated with an 
enthosiasm equal to the grief exhibited during the late mourn- 
ing. The notion entertained by the Egyptians respecting the 
iMppearance of the deity under the same form, and his entering 
the body of another bull as soon as the Apis died, confirms the 
opinion of Diodorus, that they believed in the transmigration of 
the soul of Osiris into the body of this animal : and the choice 
of it as the representative of Osiris was probably owing to the 
doetrine of emanation already mentioned. 

Of the discovery of a new Apis ^lian^ gives the following 

aeoonnt : — ' As soon as a report is circulated that the Egyptian 

Spod has manifested himself, certain of the sacred scribes, well 

in the mystical marks, known to them by tradition, ap* 

the spot where the divine cow has deposited her calf, and 

following the ancient ordinance of Hermes, feed it with 

milk dming four months, in a house feusing the rising sun. 

^lien this period has passed, the sacred scribes and prophets 

Mftxt to the dwelling of Apis, at the time of the new moon, and, 

pUeing him in a boat prepared for the purpose, convey him to 

Memphis, where he has a convenient and agreeable abode, with 

FlttMue-gTounds, and ample space for wholesome exercise. 

Female companions of his own species are provided for him, the 

^Ml beautiful that can be found, kept in apartments, to which 

W has access when he wishes. He drinks out of a well or foun- 

^ of clear water ; for it is not thought right to give him the 

^iter of the Nile, which is considered too fattening. It would 

k tedious to relate what pompous processions and sacred cere- 

Miies the Egyptians perform on the celebration of the rising 

^ th/b Nile, at the fete of the Theophania, in honour of this god, 

vvbat dances, festivities^ and joyiful assemblies are appointed 

oi the occasion, in the towns and in the country.* He then says, 

' Dioaer. i. S4. i Coaf. Tibull. liV. L Eltg. tU. 2a. 

• \hn^Mj ofCWrii or i/rffc i j^x^mm^ xtUu 10. 


' The man from whose herd the divine beast has sprung, is the 
happiest of mortals, and is looked upon with admiration by all 
people;' which refutes his previous statement respecting the 
divine cow : and the assertions of other writers, as well as pro- 
bability, show that it was not the mother which was chosen to 
produce a calf with particular marks, but that the Apis was 
selected from its having them. The honour conferred on the 
cow which bore it, was retrospective, being given her after the 
Apis with its proper marks 'had been found' by the priests ; and 
this is consistent with the respect paid to the possessor of the 
favoured herd, in which the sacred bull had been discovered. 
' Apis,' continues the naturalist, * is an excellent interpretation 
of futurity. He does not employ virgins or old women sitting 
on a tripod, like some other gods, nor require that they should 
be intoxicated with the sacred potion; but inspires boys who 
play around his stable with a divine impulse, enabling them to 
pour out predictions in perfect rhythm.' 

It was in consequence of these festivities that the anger of 
Gambyses was so much excited against the people of Memphis. 
Supposing that they intended to signify their satisfaction at the 
defeat of his army in the Ethiopian war,^ he sent for the priests, 
and asked them the reason of their rejoicings. They replied, 
that it was the celebration of the manifestation of the god Apis, 
who had been a long time without appearing amongst them. 
Gambyses, little pleased with this reply, ordered the pretended 
deity to be brought before him ; when, drawing his sword, he 
plunged it into the luiimal's body ; and having killed it, he 
ordered the priests to be beaten, and all those who were found 
celebrating the festival to be put to death. 

The Egyptians not only paid divine honours to the bull 
Apis, but, considering him the living image ^ and representative 
of Osiris, they consulted him as an oracle, and drew from his 
actions good or bad omens. They were in the habit of offering 
him any kind of food, with th6 hand : if he took it, the answer 
was considered favourable ; ^ if he refused, it was thought to be 
a sinister omen. Pliny and Ammianus Marcellinus observe that 
he refused what the unfortunate Germanicus presented to him ; 
and the death of that prince, which happened shortly after, was 
thought to confirm most tmequi vocally the truth of those presages. 
The Egyptians also drew omens respecting the welfare of their 

> Herodot, iU. 27. * Plat, de kid. s. 39. Amm. Marcellin. lib. xxiL 

* Plin. lib. TiiL c 48. 


country, according to the stable in which he happened to be. 
To these two stables he had free access ; and when he sponta- 
neously entered one, it foreboded benefits to Egypt, as the 
other the reverse; and many other tokens were derived from 
accidental circumstances connected with this sacred animal. 

Pausanias^ says, that those who wished to consult Apis first 
burnt incense on an altar, filling the lamps with oil which were 
lighted there, and depositing a piece of money on the altar to 
the right of the statue of the god. Then placing their mouth 
near his ear, in order to consult him, they asked whatever 
question they wished. This done, they withdrew, covering 
their two ears until they were outside the sacred precincts of 
the temple; and there listening to the first expression anyone 
uttered, they drew from it the desired omen. 

Children, also, according to Pliny and Solinus, who attended 

in great numbers during the processions in honour of the divine 

bull, received the gift of foretelling future events; and the 

same authors mention a superstitious belief at Memphis, of the 

influence of Apis upon the crocodile, during the seven days 

when his birth was celebrated. On this occasion, a gold and 

silver patera was annually thrown into the Nile, at a spot called 

from its form * the Bottle :' and while this festival was held, no 

one was in danger of being attacked by crocodiles, though 

bathing carelessly in the river. But it could no longer be done 

with impunity after the sixth hour of the eighth day. The 

hostility of that animal to man was then observed invariably 

to return, as if permitted by the deity to resume its habits. 

Apis was usually kept in one or other of the two stables — 

seldom going out, except into the court attached to them, where 

strangers came to visit him. But on certain occasions he was 

conducted through the town with great pomp. He was then 

escorted by numerous guards, who made a way amidst the 

ciowd, and prevented the approach of the profane ; and a chorus 

of children singing hymns in his honour headed the procession. 

The attention paid to Apis, and the care they took of his health 

^scrupulously selecting the most wholesome food, were so great, 

that even the water he drank was taken from a particular well 

»et apart for his use ; and it was forbidden to give him the water 

of the Nile, in consequence of its being found to have a pecu- 

littly fattening property. Tor,' says Plutarch,^ *they endeavour 

* P»M*tt. Ub. yiii, f Plat, de Isid. s. 5. 


to prevent fatness as well in Apis as themselyes; always stndions 
that their bodies may sit as light about their souls as possible, 
in order that their mortal part may not oppress and weigh down 
the more divine and immortal/ Their idea of the fecundating 
qualities of the Nile water led the Egyptian shepherds to raise 
it from the river for their flocks, especially for ewes or goats 
which were not prolific ; and to this ^lian attributes their pro- 
ducing five at a birth.^ I have seen an instance of a bull with 
the globe and feathers between its horns, standing on a monu- 
ment built at the side of a mountain — probably the Libyan 
range behind Memphis — ^and over it the name ' Ftah-Socharis- 
Osiris, the God of the West ;' which was probably intended to 
represent Apis, in the character of that deity.* On the opposite 
side was a cow, also coming from a mountain, with a similar 
head-dress, and the long horns usually given to Athor, over 
which was the name Isis. This is one of many proofs of the 
analogy between the two goddesses ; the more remarkable, from 
Isis being introduced with Apis, as she usually is with Osiris. 
A black bull with a white crescent on its shoulder, or a white 
spot upon the shoulder, and others on the haunch, the nose, 
round the eye, and on its legs, carrying a dead body, covered 
with a red pall, is sometimes represented at the foot of a mummy- 
case, or on a board deposited in the tomb.' This appears to be 
the Apis, in some office connected with Osiris, as ruler of 
Amenti. It runs in haste over the hills, on its way to the 
western region, where Osiris presided: and it is remarkable 
that the king, when running into the presence of the gods, with 
vases or other emblems in his hand, is sometimes accompanied 
by a bull. A * white * bull also attended in the procession at the 
coronation of the Pharaohs ; and the bull of Tum at Heliopolis, 
the Mnevis, was called ^ the strong bull of Tum, of An or 
Heliopolis.' * 

[The discovery by Mariette Bey, in 1851, of the Serapeum 
at Saqqdra has added considerably to the knowledge of the 
Apis worship. It appears also that the step-shaped pyramid of 
Saqqara of the 1st Dynasty is the Apeum of the so-called old 
empire. The Serapeum of Memphis consisted of the series of 
galleries and chambers in which the bulls were buried, from the 
reign of Amenophis III. to the Eoman Empire. The numerous 

> iElian, iii. 33. < Apis bearing away the body of Osiris.' 

' This is found on coffins. Brit. Mus. No. 6681. 

* The inscription on* bome states it is * Burton^ £xe. Hier. 51. 




tablets discovered record the date of the death of the Apis*^ that 
of his discovery and enthronement at Memphis at the time of 
the later d]masty, and afford important chronological resnlts. 
A long dromos of one hundred and thirty-six sphinxes led 
from the east side of the Egyptian Serapeum to the Greek 
Serapenm, which was a temple dedicated to the worship of the 
Sarapis of Pontus, and the alliance of Sarapis and Osiris, and 
not a sepulchre. The Asar-Hapis, Osiris or deceased Apis, was 
the son and ^repeated * or * second life of Ptah.' — S. B.] 

The account given by Plutarch ^ of the introduction of Sar- 
apis into Egypt, is as follows : — ^ Ptolemy Soter had a dream, 
in which a colossal statue, such as he had never seen before, 
appeared to him, commanding him to remove it as soon as possible 
from the place where it then stood, to Alexandria. Upon this, 
the king was in great perplexity, not knowing where the statue 
was. Sosibius, however, who was a great traveller, declared that 
he had seen one answering its description at Sinope. Soteles 
and Dionysius were, therefore, sent thither, and with much 
diflScnlty succeeded in bringing the statue to Egypt. 

'Timotheus' the interpreter, and Manetho the Sebennite, as 

soon as it arrived and was shown to them, concluded, from the. 

Cerberus and dragon, that it represented Pluto, and persuaded 

the king that it was no other than Sarapis. For it was not so 

called at Sinope ; but, on its arrival at Alexandria, it obtained 

the name of Sarapis, which with the Egyptians answers to Pluto.^ 

The observation of Heraclitus the physiologist, that Hades 

(Pluto) and Bacchus are the same, leads to a similar conclusion : 

Osiris answering to Bacchus, as Sarapis to Osiris, after he had 

dianged his nature ; for Sarapis is a name common to all, as 

those know who are initiated into the mysteries of Osiris. The 

opinion of those who pretend that ** Sarapis is no god, but the 

' Muiette, 'Choiz de MontuneDts,' Paris, 
^to, 1856; •M^moire sur U M^re d'Apis,' 
^to, Paris, 1856 : * Le Serapeam/ fol. Paris, 

' PlaU de Isid. s. 28. 

' TtdtQs sajs he was an Athenian. 

* This is the Greek type of Sarapis or 
^pis, that of a hearded man, draped, 
vitk the expression of Hades or Pluto, 
vcari&i on his head a modias, and holding 
A teeptre, either standing or seated on a 
throne, at the side of which are an eagle, 
cAblein of Zeus or JoTe, and Cerberus, 
mblem of Hades. The modius is occa- 
«w»l^T decorated with floral ornaments 

This type of Sarapis without the adjuncts 
replaces on the coins and monuments the 
leading deities of the Egyptian Pantheon, 
such as Khnum, Amen, Ptah, Osiris, and 
Turn. It is to be distinguished from the 
Egyptian Asar-hapi, or Sarapis, which was 
always represented bull-headed, sometimes 
wearing the solar dislc, and personifying the 
deceased Apis in contradistinction to the 
bull, or living Apis. At Rome and elsewhere 
the Egyptian religion under the Empire, 
known as the Isiac worship, was represented 
by Osiris, Sarapis, and Isis, and temples 
were erected to Sarapis alone. The greatest 
temple of Sarapis was at Alezandriiu — S. B. 


mere denomination of the sepulchral chest, into which the body 
of Apisy after death, is deposited/' is perfectly absurd. The 
priests, indeed — at least, the greatest part of them — tell us, that 
Sarapis is no other than the mere union of Osiris and Apis into 
one word ; ^ declaring that ** Apis ought to be regarded as a fair 
and beautiful image of the soul of Osiris." For my own part, I 
cannot but think that this word is expressive of joy and gladness, 
since the festival which the Greeks call Charmosyna, or the feast 
of joy, is by the Egyptians termed Sarei.* Tacitus' gives the 
same account of the introduction of Sarapis into Egypt, which 
is confirmed by Macrobius and Pausanias;^ and Clemens of 
Alexandria ^ states, ^ on the authority of some persons, that the 
statue was sent as a present by the people of Sinope to Ptolemy 
Philadelphus, who had relieved their city from famine by a 
supply of com. It was a representation of Pluto, and was placed 
in the promontory now called Bacotis, where the temple of 
Sarapis stands. Others, however, affirm this Sarapis to be a 
Pontic statue, brought to Alexandria in consequence of the 
great concourse of strangers in that city.' From the foregoing 
statement of Plutarch, it is evident that the Sarapis, whose 
worship was introduced by the first Ptolemy from Sinope, was a 
new deity, previously unknown in the Pantheon of Egypt ; and 
Macrobius * affirms that, though the Egyptians were compelled 
to receive Sarapis and Saturn into the order of gods, and to 
celebrate their rites after the manner of the Alexandrians, their 
temples were never admitted within the precincts of their towns. 
We therefore find no mention of Sarapis till the time of the 
Greeks and Bomans ; and that principally in cities founded or 
greatly frequented by them, as Alexandria, Canopus, Antinoopolis, 
and Berenice, in small Boman towns of the Oasis, in the Nitriotis,* 
or in quarries and stations in the deserts, where he was also 
invoked under the names of Pluto and Sol Inferus.' The form 
of Sarapis, according to the statues found at Bome, is totally 
different from that assigned to him in the Greece-Egyptian 
temples of Egypt ; where he appears to be merely a modification 
of Osiris himself. Clemens describes the figure of the god to bo 
of an azure colour approaching to black. 

Indeed, from what Plutarch says, that Sarapis answered to 

* Clemens, Orat. Adhort. p. 21, also * Clemena, Orat. Adhort. p. 20. 

says the name of Sarapis is composed of * Macrob. Saturn, i. 4. 

Osiris and Apis. * Strabo, xrii. p. 552. 

' Tacit. Hist. ir. cc. 83, 84. ^ These inscriptions usually begin All 

> Pausan. in Athen. HAIfil MEFAAOI SAPAOIAI. 


Odiiis after he had changed his nature (that is, when Judge of 
Amentiy or, as Diodorus says,^ in the character of Pluto), and 
that Sarapis was a name given to all persons after their death, 
it is eyident that he was thought to resemble Osiris, in his 
character of President of the Lower Begions. But the mode of 
celebrating his worship was repugnant to the religious scruples 
of the Egyptians ; he was therefore kept distinct, and refused a 
place amongst the gods of their Pantheon. Tacitus ^ tells us, 
that so great was the difference of opinion respecting this deity, 
that some thought him to be .^culapius, others Osiris, others 
Jupiter, and others Pluto. According to Macrobius,^ ^the 
Egyptian Sarapis being asked who he was, replied in these 

**■ I will let jou know whmt kiod of god I am. 
The hearenlj host is my head, mj belly is the sea. 
My feet are the earth, my ears are air, 
And my two eyes the far-shining bright light of the snn." — [S. B.] 

From which it appears that Sarapis and the sun are one and the 
same deity ;' and hence the formulsd of so many Greek dedica- 
tions to this god, which are inscribed, ' To Pluto, the Sun, the 
great Sarapis.' Prichard supposes that ^ the rites of ^sculapius 
were borrowed by the Greeks from the worship of the Egyptian 
Sarapis ; ' ' the same animals, the serpent and cock,' which were 
'appropriated to Sarapis, being the symbolical emblems or 
consecrated victims of the god of health:' but it must be 
observed that these emblems are not given him by the Egyptians ; 
and the cock is never represented. He also states, on the 
authority ' of Porphyry and Eusebius, that he was supposed to 
preside over the invisible world, and to be the ruler of daemons, 
or maleficent spirits.' ^ Some, indeed, are disposed to think that 
Sarapis was an Egyptian deity of an early era, and that the 
niemblance found to exist in the attributes of the god of Sinope 
Aows the Egyptians recognised in him a god already known to 
tlk^ii; while others conclude that he was altogether unknown 
in Egypt previous to the age of Ptolemy Soter. But I will 
^eavour to reconcile these opinions. The statue was thought 
to bear analogy to Osiris ; the word Sarapis was taken from the 
iwune of that Egyptian deity, being a corruption of Apis-Osiris * 

' IKedor. L 25. * Tacit. Hist. \y, 83. (or Apis).' According to Clemens, * Aris- 

' Macroh. Saturn. L 25. teas the Argiye thought that Apis was 

* Priehaxd, E^ypt. Myth. p. 94. called SarapU ;' and he has a strange idea 

* notarck (de laid. s. 87) says, * Osiris of the Argire king Apis being the founder 
«^ SarapU an aoM other than Epaphm of Memphis. (Strom, i. p. 29.) 



(or Osiris- Apis) ; and the new god was made a separate diyinity 
in consequence of some objection to the mode of celebrating his 
worship. This is confirmed by what Pausanias says of the worship 
of Sarapis being introduced into Egypt; and of there haying 
been a temple dedicated to him at Memphis, and another at 
Alexandria, previous to the reign of Ptolemy ; the latter being, 
according to Pausanias,^ ' the most splendid, as the former was 
the most ancient.' Tacitus also states that ^at Bhacotis' a 
small temple had been consecrated to the same deity, and to IsU 
before that time.' The deity, then, to whose temple they allude, 
was Osiris : Sarapis, who was only introduced into temples built 
by the Ptolemies and Ceesars, was a modified form of the husband 
of Isis ; and the god of Sinope was thought or made to accord 
with the same deity. We may at once reject the statement of 
Eustathius, that the Jupiter of Sinope was the deity of Memphis, 
as we may question the truth of there being a hill near that city 
which bore the name of Sinopion. The endeavour, on the part of 
his votaries, to discover in Sarapis a resemblance to so many 
different deities, arose from their desire to remove that antipathy 
to his worship which the Egyptians had conceived, from the 
moment this foreign deity was introduced into their country; 
and every means were resorted to which could serve to dispel 
their prejudice, or induce them to perceive in him an a£Snity to 
their ancient gods. But the artifice had, as might be expected, 
little effect upon the priesthood, with the exception of those 
appointed to temples erected by the Ptolemies, in remote places, 
as at the Oases, Berenice, and other towns situated in the desert. 
And while few gods were known at Alexandria but this intruder, 
who was arbitrarily made to conform to or usurp the attributes 
of several other respectable divinities, the Alexandrian Greeks 
fancied, by giving him a comprehensive character similar to that 
mentioned by Macrobius, that they had united in him the 
essence of a whole assembly of gods.^ But Sarapis was at no 
time Egyptian; he was always foreign to their worship, and 
treated as an intruder by the Egyptians ; and at most he may 
be considered a Grseco-Egyptian deity, attached to rather than 
belonging to the Pantheon of Egypt. 

Isis, more frequently worshipped as a deity in the temples of 

* Pmusan. Attic, edit. Siebelis, p. 42. 84 ; and Strabo, xrii. 545.) 

* Rhacotis or Racotis, Rac6t, stood where ' The Emperor Hadrian saw in him the 
Alexandria was built. (Tacit. Hist. lib. ir. God of the Jewd and Christians. 



the city of Bubastis was built in my honour. Bejoice, Egypt, 
which hast been to me a nurse/ The same author also says, 
* There is a great question respecting this goddess, as well as 
Osiris; some calling her Isis, others Ceres, Thesmophoros, the 
Moon, or Juno ; and many give her all these names.' ^ 

Plutarch considers Isis ^ to be the Earth,^ the feminine part 
of nature,' or that property which renders her a fit subject for the 
production of all other beings ;' and he thinks ^ * that the dresses 
of her statues were made with a variety of colours, from her 
power being wholly conyersant about matter, which becomes and 
admits all things.' The notion of Isis ^ being the earth agrees 
with her supposed resemblance to Ceres, under the name of 
Demeter, or Mother Earth; and Diodorus* says, that 'the 
Egyptians, considering the earth to be the receptacle of all 
things that are bom, call it mother^ as the Greeks in like manner 
denominate it Demeter; — the word being slightly altered by 
time from the ancient Mother Earth,' as Orpheus attests : 
''Mother of all things, Demeter giver of wealth."^' 

The numerous characters she bore, arose from the various 

combinations into which she entered. She was considered to 

be matter in reference to the intellect of the Deity, which 

operated upon it in the creation. And, in accordance with this 

idea, Osiris and Isis were supposed to resemble the two members 

of ' the nuptial diagram of Plato, representing a right-angled 

triangle, whose perpendicular side is equal to 3, the base to 4, 

and the hypothenuse to 5 ; and in which the perpendicular is 

designed to indicate the masculine nature, the base the feminine, 

and the hypothenuse the offspring of both. Accordingly,' adds 

Plutarch, ' the first of these aptly represents Osiris, or the prime 

Cause; the second, Isis, or the receptive power; and the last, 

Oraa, or the common effect of the other two.'* She was thought 

to answer to Proserpine, because she presided with Osiris in 

Amenti ; and the hieroglyphics not only identify her with Hecate, 

bat point out the Egyptian origin of that name in the legends 

iMioompaaying her name, where she is styled 'Isis, the potent 

^ Diodor. i. 25. name of Osiris, as A^-ar, < seat-maker,' but 

' Plat, da Isid. s. 3S. it is doubtful if the esoteric meaning was 

* Ibid. s. 53. Conf. Athenajror. Supplic the same for her phonetic name. Wood- 
KtCbisUanis: ^Irir f^ur cOwyos, ii <f cut No. 527.— S. B. 

^intt ffw^or. * Diodor. i. 12. 

* Pint, de Isid. s. 7S. ' I^r fi^tpa, 

' The aanic of Isis was Am or HeM, and • T^ ti'ir^p wdtrrmp, Ai^fifmip vXovro- 

vrittcn hj tiM throne, and meant < the Z&r^tpa, Conf. Cic de Nat. I>eor. lib. ii. 

Hst;' the throM ftlM entered into the ' Flat, de Isid. s. 56. 

102 THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS. [Chap. tttt. 

Hekte.' lu comparing Anubis and Hecate, Plutarch would have 
been more correct if, for the former, he had substituted the name 
of Isis, when he says/ * Anubis seems to be of the same power and 
nature as the Grecian Hecate, a deity common bo^ to the 
celestial and infernal regions.' She is sometimes figured under 
the form of a scorpion, the emblem of the goddess Selk, with the 
legend * Isis Selk ; ' but this is only in some inferior capacity 
connected with the mystic rites, or the region of AmentL The 
greater number of the characters given to Isis by Greek writers 
appear to be mere fancies of a late time, unsupported by the 
authority of the monuments ; and some are in direct opposition 
to the known sentiments of the Egyptians; as an instance of 
which, I may mention her supposed identity with the moon, 
which was represented by the god Thoth, and in no instance 
considered a female deity. I do not stop to examine, or even to 
enumerate, the idle tales which the Greeks repeated concerning 
Isis. I have already observed that both Osiris and his sister Isis 
were not deified persons who had lived on earth, but fiabulous 
beings, whose history was founded on metaphysical speculation ; 
and adapted to certain phenomena of nature, as in the allegory 
of the rising of the Nile, where she is the land of Egypt irrigated 
by the waters of the inundation. With the same spirit, and in 
continuation of her fabulous history, it was said that her soul was 
transferred after death to Sirius or the DogH9tar, ^ which the 
Egyptians call Sothis.' ^ That she had the name of Isis-Sothis, 
and was supposed to represent Sirius, is perfectly true, as the 
sculptures themselves abundantly prove ;^ and the heliacal rising 
of that star is represented on the ceiling of the Memnonium at 
Thebes, under the form and name of this goddess. It was not, 
however, in consequence of a belief entertained in Egypt — at 
least, by the initiated — that the soul of Isis had been transferred 
to the Dog-star : this was looked upon in the same light as the ^ 
connection between the god Thoth and the moon, who in one oSi 
his characters answered to the Lunus of the Egyptians, and iX^ 
another corresponded to Mercury. In like manner, Isis and oth^'^ 
deities assumed on different occasions various characters; an.^ 
Sothis, the Dog-star, was one of those assigned to the sister c^ 
Osiris. This adaptation of Isis, and other deities, to the planetar^ 
system, led to the remark of Eusebius,* 'that the Egyptian.--^ 

' Plut de Isid. s. 44. » PUt« XXVI., hierog. No. 5. 

* Ibid. 88. 21 and 61. * fiueb. Pnep. Evang. iii. & 4. 




esteem the son to be the demiurgus, and hold the legends 
about Osiris and Isis, and all their other mythological fables, to 
have reference to the stars ; and their appearances and occulta- 
tions, and the periods of their risings, or to the increase and 
decrease of the moon, to the cycles of the sun, to the diurnal and 
nocturnal hemispheres, or to the river.' Plutarch^ also gives 
one explanation of the history of Isis and Osiris, taken from the 
phenomena of ecUpses. 

The great importance attached to Sothis was owing to the 
peculiar period of the year when the heliacal rising of that star 
took place ; and the influence it was supposed to exercise upon 
the commencement of the inundation, which was typified by 
Osiris, very naturally led the Egyptians to connect it with Isis.^ 
I have already noticed, in a former work,^ the use made of this 
star in their astronomical calculations, in speaking of the two 
Egyptian years ; from which I shall extract a few observations. 
'The conquest of Egypt by the Bomans had acquainted that 
people with the existence of the arch, and its utility as a 
substitute for wood, to which it probably owed its invention ; nor 
can anyone for a moment imagine that the vanity of that nation 
would have allowed to remain concealed the name of its inventor, 
had he been a Boman. The same remark applies to the inter- 
calated year ; and surely the Bomans were at no time celebrated 
for astronomical knowledge. The Boman Calendar was, indeed, 
put in order by Julius Caesar, but with the assistance of Sosigenes, 
an Egyptian ; who, to supply the defect of 67 days, that had 
been lost through the inattention of the Pontifices, and in 
Older to bring the beginning of the year once more to the winter 
solstice, as was instituted by Numa, made that year consist of 15 
months, whence called '^the year of confusion." The ensuing 
yean were formed of 365 days ; and every fourth, a day was 
added, making 366. The 27th of August at that time coincided 
with Hie 1st of Thoth.* The Egyptian civil solar year consisted 
of 365 days, divided into 12 months of 30 days each, at the end of 
which were added the 5 days called epact,^ or intercalated. This 

' Pkt de Isid. t. 44. 

* For t figure of kU-Sothis lee Plate 
UVL fg, 5. She WM called < Sothis, 
^ grcai lady of the commencement of 
^ year,* and ahining orer the hearens 
^ the opening *or determination of the 
T«>r;* ako aa canting the rise of the 

aiW tt iU proper time, *or abundance of 

*tUr to innndate the had,' (Brug^h 

* Mat^riaaz pour le Calendrier.' Leipzig, 
4to, 1864, p. 27).— S. B. 

• * Materia Hierog.,' Appendix No. 1. 

• *The Canicula regularly rises in Egypt 
on the 1st of Thoth.' This corresponded to 
the 20th of July in the year B.a 1322, 
which was the commencement of the 
Canicular period. (Censor, de Die Natali.) 

• Censor, de Die NatalL Cory, p. 323. 




civil year was always used by the Egyptians, for the common 
epochas and calculations of the people ; as the dates of their 
kings, ages of men, and the like. That used by the priests for 
ibstronomical purposes was different, and was calculated from the 
heliacal rising of the Dog-star (Sothis) to that of the ensuing 
year, and consisted of 365^ days : that is, every fourth year a 
day was intercalated, as in the Julian year, making it to consist 
of 366 days. Hence, as the Egyptian solar y^ar, in every four 
years, loses a day of the Sothic, and the Ist of Thoth vague, or 
solar Thoth, runs through every part of that year, in the space 
of 1460 Sothic years, before it again coincides with the 1st of 
Thoth of the Sothic year, this period is called ^the Sothic 
period." The intercalated year was afterwards adopted by the 
Copt inhabitants of Egypt, as their common civil year, and the 
solar was no longer used : but as the real year merely contains 
365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 45^ seconds, this year of 365^ days 
exceeds the true solar year by upwards of 11 minutes, amounting 
to a day in about 131 years; and as the Copts have never 
corrected the year, the 1st of Thoth, at the present time,^ falls on 
the 10th of September ; on which day they celebrate a festival, 
and bathe in the waters of the rising Nile. The first correction 
for this excess of the Julian year was made in Europe by Pope 
Gregory XIII., in 1582 (a correction which was adopted in 
England in 1752), and is called the New Style, as that of the 
Copts and Greeks, the Old. 

* To satisfy the reader that the ancient Egyptians had two 
years, I shall first call his attention to the origin and derivation 
of the expression ^^ Sothic period," which I before mentioned ; 
secondly, to the authority of ancient writers. 

* Horapollo expressly tells us, the Egyptian Sothic year was 
called the squared year, from the intercalation of the quarter- 
day, or fourth year. Diodorus^ says they make their month of 
thirty days, and add five days and a fourth to the 12th months ; 
but does not allow it to have been a Eoman innovation : ' and 

* This was written in 1828. 

* Diodor. i. 50. He rUited Egjpt in the 
rei^ of Ptolemj Nens Dionjsus (i. 44). 

' Strabo also mentions it as an Egjptinn 
cnstom, when he says (lib. irii. p. 561), 
' Thej (the Ei^jptians) do not divide their 
year according to the course of the moon, 
but of the sun : and to the twelve months, 
each of thirty days, they add At® ^'^Y* <^^ 
thfi end of the year. Bat to make up the 

complete sum of the whole year, which 
has an excess of a portion of a day, they 
put together the whole surplus of each 
year, until it makes a whole day. All 
which calculation they attribute to Her- 
mes.' And in another place (zrii. p. 
554) he states, that they had the same 
knowledge in the early time of Plato and 
Eudoxus, when the year was unknown in 




Macrobius^ actually affirms that ** Julius Caesar derived firom 
the Egyptian institutions the motions of the coDstellations, 
oonceming which he left some very learned papers^ and also 
borrowed from the same source the mode of regulating the extent 
of the year with the course of the sun." In another place he 
saySy ^^Csesar, imitating the Egyptians, the only people ac- 
quainted with all divine matters, attempted to regulate the year 
according to the number required by the sun, which completes 
its course in 365^* days." Had this been due to the care and 
skill of the Boman astronomers, the Bomans would, with their 
usual vanity, have informed us of a fact they could have had no 
object in concealing, and which they would have been proud to 
acknowledge. But the regulation of the Boman year awaited 
the conquest of Egypt : and the uniform mode of calculating 
the extent of the annual revolution, adopted by the Egyptian 
priests, hinted the propriety of employing an Egyptian mathe- 
matician to settle the errors which, through time and the neglect 
of the PontificeSy had been suffered to accumulate in the year of 
Numa. It does not appear whether the Egyptians omitted the 
intercalary day every 130 years in the Sothic system, which we 
might expect from the usual accuracy of their calculations, or 
were contented with the approximation of the quarter-day ; for 
though the Copts do not reject this increase, and are satisfied 
with the regular intercalation of one day every fourth year, this 
might have been from their finding it perplexing, and that 
additional accuracy might have been rejected in later times, 
when Christianity took the place of the pagan institutions of 
Egypt If, however, their solar year exactly coincided with the 
Sothic, every 1460 years, it is evident that neither the ancient 
Egyptians, nor the Copts, ever rejected the intercalary day; 
whence these, like the common civil years, went forward at the 
Uicreasing ratio of one day in 130 or 131 years. The point, 
Wever, in question is, I think, sufficiently clear, — that the 
^tercalary day * every fourth year was of Egyptian origin, and 

' XacroV. Sfttnrn. i. IS. 

' Tht question of the use of the 6xed 
ycv W been lo often discuwed thmt it is 
**^^to reopen it. The existence of it 
v>^ Um Middle Empire has been sup- 
Pwtri hj M. Bmgsch (* Mat^riauz pour 
»• Cslendrier,' Leipsig, 1866). The dis- 
J»^«ry, howerer, of the tablet of Canopns 
W Profoior Lepsins (* Das bilingne Dekret 
▼«ft Caaopiu,' foL Bexiin, 1866), proyes that 

at the time of Energetes II., B.a 238, the ase 
of the yagne year both for sacred and civil 
purposes had so disturbed the year, that 
the festivals were celebrated at the wrong 
seasons, and an attempt was made to 
reform the calendar by the introduction of 
a leap-year, with the intercalary day afler 
the five epagomenae — a proof that the Hxed 
rear was not previously in use, although 
no doubt abortive attempts had been mi^e 


used by the priests long before the conquest of Egypt by the 
Bomans. The name of ^* the Sothic period " would alone prove 
this; and the particularly minute observations made by the 
priests respecting the future state of their river, from prognostics 
drawn from the aspect of the star at rising, and the anxiety with 
which they expected its first appearance, are well known. Nor is 
it at all compatible with reason to suppose that all this was of a 
late time, and owed its origin to the conquest of the country by 
the Eomans. The rising pf the Nile had always been looked 
upon as the moment of rejoicing ; the heliacal rising of this 
star happened when it was beginning to leave the confinement 
of its banks, to overflow the lands,^ and promise abundance to 
the inhabitants of Egypt ; and its first appearance had alwayu 
been the signal for the priests to ascertain the favourable or un- 
favourable prospects its aspect was said to forebode. Nor could 
the time of its coincidence with the sun have been ascertained, 
unless the period of its return were calculated. And were all 
this anxiety, all this rejoicing at (he rise of their river^ and all 
these peculiar institutions of Egypt, to await the late epoch of 
the Boman conquest ? If we admit the accounts of every his- 
torian who has mentioned the Egyptians and Romans, we cannot 
for one moment suppose that Egypt was indebted to her conqueror 
for any skill or hint in astronomy or mathematical science.' 

The introduction of Isis-Sothis at the Memnonium is remark- 
able, not only from its illustrating the connection between that 
goddess and the Dog-star — instances of which occur elsewhere — 
but in a chronological point of view. In the astronomical 
subject there introduced, the twelve Egyptian months are 
represented, each in a separate compartment, under the usual 
heads, of the four months of the water-plants, the four of plough- 
ing, and the four of the waters — ^making the three seasons of 
which their year consisted.^ In the first season were Thoth, 
Faopi, Athor, Choeak ; in the second, Tobi, Mechir, Fhamenoth, 
Pharmuthi ; in the third, Fachons, Faoni, Epep, and Mesor& 
Between this last and the first, or Thoth, a space is left, corre- 
sponding, as^I imagine, to the five days of the epact (introduced 
between the end of Mesor6 and the commencement of Thoth 
of the ensuing year), and beneath this is the figure of Sothis, 
representing the heliacal rising of that star. This, then, must 

to reform it as early as the 12th Dynasty, 20th dynasties. — S. 6. 

by marking the festival of Sothis or > JElian, x. 45. Tibnll. L Eleg. rii. 21. 

Sirios, and at the time of the 19th and * Woodcnt No. 463. 

Chap, XHL] 



have occurred eitlier at the beginning of Thoth, or in the middle 
of the five da je of the epact ; and it serves to point out the period 
when the bnilding was erected. For, since the Canicular period 
commenced when the Ist of Thoth fell on the 20th of July, in 
the year 1322 6.0., we may assign this date to Bameses the Great, 
in whose reign it was built ; and it may not be presumption to 
consider that it justifies me in fixing his accession to the year 

' Iilft, prnUcur cf ber brolber. 
1. ■ lata UBatlng btr bivtbcr.' 

* •lita.KlnronTrt.dnlliiiRLnllonib.UiiAbitanofPhllM.' 
1. ■ IM, dnr ol UK Udr ol tb* AbUoD.- 

1355 B.C., which I had already concluded from other data 
pteriooa to observing this astronomical fact. The appearance of 
Iiis^thia in a boat confirms the statement of Plutarch,* that the 
Wrenly bodies ' were not represented by the Egyptians drawn 
u> chariots, but sailing round the world in boats, intimating, 
uttt to the principle of moisture they owe not only their power 
(^moving, but even their support and nourishment.' According 

' Plut. de iiid. 1. 34. 


to Herodotosy^ Isis was the greatest of all the Egyptian goddesses. 
This remark must, however, be limited to her mysterious 
character, as husband and sister of Osiris, and attending him 
in his ofSce of judge of the dead : as Ceres, in a similarly 
mysterious character, enjoyed greater honours among the Greeks 
than other deities who held a far higher rank in their Pantheon. 
It appears that she enjoyed a more general worship at a late 
period than in the early Fharaonic ages: and the almost ex- 
clusive repute she obtained among the Greeks may have been 
partly owing to their attributing to her many of the honours 
which really belonged to other deities, as I have already observed. 
This last may also have been from her mysterious character then 
acquiring more general celebrity ; from the great ambition felt 
by numerous individuals to be admitted to the mysteries ; and 
from the readiness of the Egyptian priests to flatter the preju- 
dices and ignorance of those strangers who showed a desire to 
uphold the worship of their gods, and build temples in their 
honour. For since no Egyptian discouraged the wish to erect a 
shrine to Isis or Osiris, on the score of the right of other deities, 
these two, who were almost the only deities known to the Greeks, 
supplied at length the place of others ; and few teniples in late 
times were erected or endowed by the Greeks in honour of any 
other than Isis or Osiris, except to some particular deity who 
had been for ages the patron of the city where that monument 
happened to be erected. The worship of Isis was, indeed, 
universal throughout Egypt ^ at all times; and, according to 
Herodotus, her festival at Busiris was more conspicuous than 
any, except that of Diana at Bubastis.' *The festival,' says 
Herodotus, ^ which they celebrate at Busiris, in honour of Isis, is 
magnificent. After having prepared themselves for it by prayers 
and fasting, they sacrifice a bull. They first take off the skin, 
and remove the intestines, leaving the inner parts and the fat. 
They then cut off the legs, the upper part of the haunches, the 
shoulders, and neck ; and this being done, they fill the rest of 
the body with cakes of pure flour, honey, dried raisins, figs, 
incense, myrrh, and other aromatic substances. In this state, 
they bum it, pouring a quantity of oil upon the fire. Whilst 
the victim is consuming,' * the votaries of the goddess, who are 
assembled in great nimibers, of both sexes, strike themselves in 
honour of one (Osiris) whom I am not permitted to mention ;' * 

> Herodot. ii. 40. « Ibid. ii. 42. » Ibid. ii. 59. * Ibid. ii. 61. 

CKAv. xm.] 



uid * when they cease doing this, they eat what remains of the 

sacrifice.' ' The Carians who are preeeut on this occasion make 

themselves very conspicuous, by wounding their foreheads with 

knives ; by which it is easy to see that they are strangers and 

not Egyptians' — that civilised people not adopting ao barhaiouB 

a custom.' ' All the Egyptians offer clean bolls and calves ; but 

they are not allowed to immolate heifers, 

because these are sacred to Isis, who is 

represented in her statues under the form 
. of a woman with horns,' as the Greeks 

fignre lo.^ All the Egyptians have far 

more consideration for heifers than any 

other cattle ; and there is not an Egyptian 

nun or woman who would consent to kiss 

ft Greek on the mouth, nor even to use his 

knife, his spit, or his boiler, nor taste the 

meat of a clean bull which had been cot 

by a Greek's knife.* If a bull or a heifer 

happens to die, their funeral is performed 

in the following manner : the heifers are 

thrown into the river ; and the bulls &re 

bnried in the suburbs, with one horn or 

both above gronnd, to mark the spot. 

Here the body remains till it is decom- 
posed ; and a boat, despatched from the 
Ue of FrosSpitis, comes round to each 
town at a particular period. 

' Prosopitis ia an island in the Delta,* 
^amaehcenoi'm circumference, containing 
leveral towns ; one of which, called Atarbechis, sends the boats 
ileitmed to collect the bones, and employs several persons to go 
(nnn town to town to exhumate them, and take them to a par- 
ticular spot, where they are buried. They inter in like manner 
^ other cattle which die. Such ts their law, for they do not kill 

' It b Uierarare eTJdtnt tlut whan ths 
*MlilB w«Te eomnundcd not to cat 
^■^■Itm, hot to m»k» a baldaau b«tw«CD 
w *jm, tlluion vu not InUadod to 
■ ttyftiui, bat to uica SnUu eutoni. 
(*«. rir. 1.) 

■niiutheiuulfiiTinofAtkor. Conf. 

'A,'tkiCo«,' of tlu 

itlr eoutwcti 

wu ^rta to on* of their goddeoM*.— G. W.] 
' [Tha Egj'ptiani eonaidered all foreign- 
en DDclaan, with whom tfa«y would not 
eat, and particnlsrly the Onekt.—O. W.] 
■ [Soma luppoH the town of PnxSpitii 
to have been alio ailed Niciam. The 
iiland wan between tha Canopfo and S»- 
bcBnjtic hnnchei, at tht fork, and on 
the wait aide of the apex of tha Delta.— 



[Chap. XIIL 

them. At Atarbechis ^ is a temple sacred to Athor^ the Egyptian 
Venus.* ^ 

In this statement of Herodotus, the connection between Isis 
and Athor is eyident, both from the description of the goddess 
with cow's homsy and from the mention of the city bearing her 
name, ^lian,^ after stating that the cow was particularly 
appropriated to Venus, says, ^ The Egyptians also represent Isis 
with tfot^'d horns ;' and in the sculptures, when these two divinities 
occur with each other's attributes, they are so closely allied, that 
it is sometimes difScult to distinguish between them. Athor 
seems even to take the place of Isis ; and Plutarch ^ expressly 
states, that ^ Isis is called Athyri, signifying '* Orus' mundane 
habitation," or, as Plato expresses it, ** the place and receptacle 
of generation." She was also styled " Muth," or " Mother ;" and 
Methuer, a name implying ** fulness and cause," denoting not 
only the fulness of the matter of which the world consists, but 
also its intimate conjunction with the good, the pure, and the 
well-ordered principle.' The interpretation he gives to Athyr 
(or Athor) is confirmed by the hieroglyphic legend of that 
goddess, as I shall have occasion to remark : * Muth ' is the well- 
known word Maut, ^ mother,' and in Methuer we trace the Coptic 
jtJL£^9 lfe%, signifying ^ full.' The remainder of this word is 
probably the same name of Athor, or Thy-or ; or its termina- 
tion m, ^to make,' may complete the interpretation given 
by Plutarch. 

Herodotus ^ supposes that Latona, who was Buto, performed 
the ofSce of nurse to Horus (or as he calls him, Apollo), the son 
of Isis ; but the sculptures plainly prove that Isis nursed the 
child herself; and when Athor is represented with the infant, 
she is the member of another triad. 

The Greeks and Bomans seem to have at once adopted 
the emblems of Athor in their representations of Isis, and. 

* [Athor being the Venus of Egypt, 
Atarbechis was translated Aphroditopolis. 
It was composed of atar or athor, and bechi 
or beky * city.' Aphroditopolis is supposed 
to have been at the modem Shibbeerij in 
the Isle of Prosdpitis, between the Canopic 
and Sebennjtic branches of the Nile, on 
an offset of the latter, called Thermathiac, 
which formed the western, as the Seben- 
nytic did the eastern, boundary of the Isle 
of Natho. There were other towns called 
Aphroditopolis in Upper Egypt—G. W.] 

* [Herodotus sometimes confounds Isis 

with Athor (book ii. c 4). This is not 
surprising, since the attributes of these 
two goddesses are often, more especially in 
later times, so closely connected that it is 
difficult to distinguish them in the sculp- 
tures, unless their names are directly 
specified ; and at Denderah Athor has rery 
nearly the appearance of Isis, though that 
they were distinct goddesses is shown by 
each of them having a temple at that 
place.— G. W.] 

* JEliau, Mat. Anim. z. 27. 

* Plut. de Isid. a. 56. * Herod. U. 156. 

Caw. XHL] 



mucqiiaintoil as ihej were with tbe Egyptian Venus, to have 
asaigned exclusively to IsIb the sacred cow, with whose homa 
she was represented in the celebrated festival in her honour, 
described by Ovid.' 

It most indeed be admitted, that Isis, even in olden times, 
was sometimes figured in Egyptian sculpture with a cow's head, 
as well as with a head-dieas surmounted by the horns of Athor ; 

bot ghe then assumed the attributes of that goddess — a custom 
"hich I have shown to be common to many Egyptian deities, 
'1)0 frequently appeared with the emblems and even under the 
Cwm of other members of the Pantheon. The general form of 

^ ' Oitl, Met- li. 685 : — SincUqu* Babutia, variasquv eolorlbiu 

'^ mtdia Doctii ipitio, lob imagine Apia ; 

■od, Qaiqa* prsmit Tocem, digltaqni •ilcDtia 

•*dii ant* tornm, popipl «"-<•-►■ ..-J.. . 

^ Mitil, ant (in ut. iMrut IdbuU 


<^vMa, cam iptdi nitido flaTaatibni 

" npla ittfu: earn qui Utntoi 

Siitriiqae aniit, nuoqui 
Pt(DaqD« aomnifsri ii 

imqus ulls qiut- 
srpens peiegriiui 

The namber of nron in thest li 




[Chat. Xm. 

IsU was that of a female with a throne npon her head, particularly 
in her capacity of the presiding goddess of Amenti. Her ofiBce 
then related principally to the Bonis of 
men in a future state, where she formed 
the second member of a triad composed of 
Osiris, herself, and Kephthys, and assisted 
at the ordeal which took place before the 
judgment-seat of her brother and hos- 
band. Isis was also the second member 
of another triad, particularly wor- 
shipped at Fhilfe, consisting of Osiris, 
Isis, and Horns. She was said to 
he the ' protector (or defender) of her 
brother,* in which capacity they repre- 
""■ '"' sented her covering Osiris ' with her out- 

spread wings. She was styled the ' royal consort and sister of 
Osiris,' ' Goddess-Mother,' the Muth of Flutarch ; and sometimes 
Hekte — on which account she may 
be thought to answer to Hecate or 
Froserpine, as before obserred. She 
was occasionally figured with the head 
of a cat, or with the attributes of 
Bubaetis ; and I hare once found her 
represented with the throne of Neph- 
thys on her head, in the character of 
her sister.' In addition to the globe 
and homs of Athor, Isis has sometimes 
the flowers of water-plants rising from 
her head, particularly when repre- 
sented as the mother of the infant 
Horns, and the second member of 
the triad of Fhilie. She often wears 
a cap representing the sacred vulture; 
its bead projecting from her forehead, 
its body covering her head, and its 
wings extending downwards at the 
side of her face to her shoulder; 
""■ ™- though this is not confined to Isis, 

as ^lian supposes,' but is given equally to other goddesses, 

deiti« Pub ud OiirU. 




and even to the qneens of Egypt. The title * royal wife and 
sister ' was derived from her having married her brother Osiris ; 
and this fabulous notion was supposed to have been the origin 
of a custom prevalent in Egypt from the earliest 
to the latest periods, which permitted brothers and 
sisters to marry; such an alliance being considered 
fortunate, in consequence of the example set by 
Isis and Osiris.^ 

Many individuals, even among the priesthood 
of early Pharaonic periods, are found, from the 
sculptures of Thebes, to have married their sisters; ,„._^ 
and the same authorities agree with the accounts Aheadi^ofWs. 
of ancient Greek and Eoman writers, in proving ^°' *'®- ^*""- 
that some of the Ptolemies adopted this ancient custom. The 
principal temple of Isis was in the Sacred Island of Philte, 
where she was worshipped as the second member of the triad, 
already mentioned; and it is probable that the most solemn 
performance of the great mysteries took place there, which, as at 
Sais and Busiris, had been instituted to commemorate the im- 
portant secret of Osiris's death. Coptos also, according to ^Elian,^ 
distinguished her worship with peculiar rites ; which, if we may 
believe Plutarch, were connected with the memory of Osiris, and 
the grief of the goddess. The festivals of Isis were magnificent, 
and celebrated with all the pomp which religion and super- 
stition could invent ; and particular ceremonies were exclusively 
appropriated to her.' 

An epigram in the Anthology of Constantino Cephalus,* 
mentioning certain offerings made to Isis, thus addresses her : 
* goddess clad in linen, who govemest the fertile black land of 
Egypt, honour these offerings with thy presence ; this cake, this 
couple of geese, this ointment, these wild figs, these dried raisins, 
wid this incense are already on the altar. Thou hast protected 

' Diodor. i. 27. 
' MMam, Nat. Anim. z. 23. 
' Some of the principal eventi of the 
^**w of Im are mentioned in the texts, 
<ip(ciallj the tearing awaj of her head 
^ Horitt, and its replacement bj Set on 
^ 2eth of Thoth, in the battle of 
^nt 4ays and nights between Set and 
Bonn, when it was replaced bj that of a 
cow. (Chabas, ' Calendner Sallier/ p. 31.) 
Her titl«s on the monuments are, * The 
P*>t molher or mother-goddess, mistress 
^ Wren, mlei of earth, queen of the Two 

Tou HI. 

Countries.' Her principal types were her 
celestial one, crowned with a cylindrical 
cap of nnei, surmounted by the dislc and 
horns, and her terrestrial or chthonic one, 
represented by her wearing the seat or 
throne, kneeling at the feet of Obiris laid 
out on the bier ; at a later period winged, 
and on the symbol of gold following Osiris 
and corering him with her wings. She 
was supposed to be the moon. (Birch, 
« Gall, of Antiq.,' p. 31.)— S. B. 

* In Reiske. Giren by Larcher, Ilerodot. 
ToL ill. p. 567. 


behind the mountain^ was thought to be receiyed ; and in this 
character she answered to Nighiy who presided oyer the West, — 
though^ as already observed, she was distinct from that primeval 
nighty or primitive darkness, from which all things proceeded 
into existence. 

While mentioning this subject^ I cannot but pay a just 
tribute to the diligent inquiry of the learned Jablonski, who, 
though wrong in his etymology of Athor, and in not observing 
the distinction between the two NigJUs of their mythology, 
claims the greatest credit for that research and accurate percep- 
tion which, without the aid of hieroglyphical discovery, enabled 
him to ascertain one of the most important characters of the 
Egyptian Venus. We may also see in the name of the cow, 
aha, the origin of the Greek lo, who, according to the mytho- 
logical tales of the ancients, was supposed to have visited Egypt 
in her wanderings,^ and to have been ' changed into Isis,' in the 
city of Coptos, where she was worshipped under that name.' 
The third Egyptian month was called after Athor, in which the 
death of Osiris was fabled to have happened ; ' and it was at this 
season that the shrines of the goddess (Ceres or Isis) w^e 
carried in procession; *the common time,' says Plutarch,* *for 
the solemnisation of the feasts in her honour, falling within the 
month in which the Pleiades appear, and the husbandmen begin 
to sow their com, called by the Egyptians Athyr.*' 

She was held in particular veneration at Aboccis, or Aboo- 
simbel, or, as it is called in the hieroglyphic legends, Abushak, 
Abshak, where she appears as the second member of the great 
triad of that place. In the temple dedicated to her there, she 
is represented under the form of a cow, to which the king and 
queen offer flowers and libations, as it stands in a sacred boat 
surrounded by water-plants ; and in a niche at the upper end of 
the adytum is the fore-part of a cow, bearing on its head the 
globe and feathers of Athor. In the hieroglyphic legends at the 
side she is styled, 'Athor, the lady of Abushak, the foreign 
land * — the town being out of Egypt, though within the territories 
of the Pharaohs. Strabo * tells us, that ' at Momemphis, where 
the Egyptian Venus was adored, a sacred cow was kept with the 

1 JabloDski, itt. 1. p. 11, and ii. 1. p. vii. ' Plat, de laid. •. 39. 

' Diodor. i. 24. Conf. Orid. Met. i. and * Ibid. s. 69. 

Propert. ii. Eleg. xxviii. 17 : — » Hetychitii aayi, « One of the months, 

' lo Tena caput primoe mugiverat annos : and the cow, are called Ath jr bj the 

Nunc Dea, qote Nili flumina Tacca bibit.' Egyptians.' 

Of lo, see Herodot. i. 1. • Strabo, xvii. p. 652. 

C5HAP. XnL] ATHOB. 117 

same religions feeling as the Apis at Memphis, or the Mneyis 
at Heliopolis ;' and the sacred animal of Momemphis was the 
same which received divine honours at Atarbechis, and other 
places devoted to the worship of Athor. The geographer ^ also 
speaks of the sacred cow of * Aphroditopolis, the capital of a 
nome of the same name on the Arabian side of the river,' which 
he describes of a white colour ; and ^lian ^ says, that ^ at the 
small but elegant village of Chusse, in the Hermopolitan nome, 
they worshipped Venus under the name Urania or heavenly, and 
paid honours to a cow, which animal was thought to appertain 
more particularly to that goddess/ It must, however, be observed 
that the * latuit nivea Satumia vacca,' ^ of Ovid, does not suffice 
to establish any analogy between Juno and the Egyptian Venus ; 
and the monuments disprove the opinion of the learned Prichard, 
that ' the goddess NepJUhya was sometimes called Urania, or the 
dark or nightly Ventis, at other times Juno or Satumia, and 
that a white cow was the sacred animal or living symbol of that 
goddess/ * 

Atarbechis, or the city of Athor, a part of Thebes called 
Pathyris, already mentioned, and several other places, vied with 
each other in the honours paid to the Egyptian Aphrodite ; and 
at Denderah, the ancient Tentyris, a magnificent temple still 
remains, erected to her in the reigns of the last Ptolemies, and 
completed under Tiberius, where she is represented nursing her 
son, the third member of the triad of the place. This is the 
temple of Aphrodite mentioned by Strabo. The name of Tentyris 
may have signified the abode of Athor, and have been corrupted 
ftom Tei-n-athor, or Tynatyr, to Tentyra. She is generally 
lepresented as a female with a head-dress surmounted with long 
boms,* and a solar disk ; and between the horns of the spotted 
oow,her emblem, are the same disk and two feathers. She some- 
tunes bears on her head a perch, upon which is seated a hawk, 
^th an ostrich-feather before it, being the head-dress of the 
genius or goddess of the West. She is then in the character 
of President of the Western Mountain, and in an office particularly 
^xmnected with the dead. In temples of a Ptolemaic epoch, 
Athor is often represented with the long feathers in addition to 
^ horns and globe ; but this is rarely the case on monuments 

' Stnbo, xriL p. 556. « Prichard, p. 148. 

' £IUb, Kat. Anim. z. 27. » The figure 1 of Plate XXVII. is from a 

' * Sttamian Juno laj hid under the tjpe Ptolemaic Temple, 

Chap. XIIL] ATHOB. 119 

of early Pharaonic date, where that head-dress is appropriated 
to the queens, and only given to Athor when under the form 
of a cow. 

[Athor, in fietct, was identified with Nnt, as the goddess of the 
celestial water or ether, and as such gives the bread and water 
of life, out of the sycamore, to the soul which thirstily drinks the 
living waters flowing from her vase. She is also supposed to 
represent Isis in her cow form, when she suckles the young Horus, 
and as such the kings are often seen nursed by this goddess. 
That she presided over the passion of love will be seen by the 
inscriptions at Denderah, in which she states that she gives the 
love of women to the king. Like Isis, too, she becomes Sothis, 
or the Dog-star, and is also Truth itself, representing, in the 
deepest sense, the female reproductive power of nature, and the 
dual element, from which the £osmo8 proceeded. Her connec- 
tion with the West allied her with the setting sun, or the god 
Atom, also one of the demiurgic deities, another form of the god 
Ba, of whom she was the wife ; while, as her name signified the 
'abode of Horus,' it intimately connected her with the final 
habitation of the great luminary. Hence she is found inside 
coffins, on the board on which the mummy was laid, receiving 
him, as it were, into her arms, as the earth, or West ; while Nut, 
as the heaven, on the inner part of the lid, covers the body of 
the deceased— or the two symbolise the day and night. — S. B.] 

The Persea was sacred to her, as the sycamore to Nut ; and in 

the funeral subjects of the Theban tombs she is seen performing 

the same office to the deceased and his friends as that goddess— 

giying them the fruit and drink of heaven. But the title 

*Lady of Het,' bestowed on Athor at Thebes, Memphis, and 

other places, appears to signify * Lady of the Tree,' and not 

^usively * of the Persea ;' the same being applied to Nut, to 

whom the sycamore was sacred. That the Persea and peach 

^ere often confounded by ancient authors, is very evident ; and 

the foct of the former being the sacred tree, on whose fruit (which 

hi the sculptures resemble the human heart) the gods inscribed 

the name of a favourite king, sufficiently proves that Plutarch ^ 

W in view the Persea, or at least the sacred tree of Athor, 

when he speaks of the fruit of the peach-tree resembling the 

Wt, and the leaves being emblematic of ' the human tongue.' 

'Hie analogy seems also to be increased by the circumstance of 

' Plat de hid. a. 68. 



[Chap. Xin. 

the goddess of speech (language, or letters) being present on 
the same occasion, and assisting to write the name of the prince 
on the fruit. 

Athor sometimes, under the form of a cow, gives milk to an 
infant king — ^the hieroglyphic legend accompanying the picture 
stating that she treats him ^as a mother.' The female heads 
with cows' ears, which form the capitals of columns at Aboo- 
simbel, Denderah, and other temples, usually ascribed to Isis, are 
of the Egyptian Aphrodite ; and many shrines, arks, and sacred 
emblems are ornamented with the head of Athor. These heads 
are certainly the most beautiful which the Egyptian artists have 
inyented. They argue in favour of Athor being the goddess of 
beauty, like the Venus of the Greeks ; and some of the sculp- 
tures of Denderah may show her to have been the patron of 
laughter and amusements. From some subjects represented in 
the sculptures it appears that this goddess was considered to be 
the patroness of ornaments and dress, symbolically designated 
by a necklace.^ A peculiar neck-ornament is sometimes sur- 
mounted by a head of Athor ; being a form of that placed on 
the neck of sacred cows and bulls, and worn by some deities. 
The worship of the cow^ in Egypt has led many persons to 
suppose an intimate connection between the religions of India 
and of that country ; and the fact of some Sepoys in our Indian 
army, who crossed from the Eed Sea to the Nile, haying, on a 
visit to the temple of Denderah, prostrated themselves before 
the cow of Athor, has been considered a decisive proof of their 
resemblance. The mere circumstance, however, of a cow being 
sculptured on the walls of an Egyptian temple, and respect 
being paid to it by those strangers, proves nothing beyond the 
accidental worship in two countries of the same animal. Had 
it been an arbitrary emblem of some peculiar form, which only 
existed in the imagination, the case might have been diiSerent ; 
but the cow being chosen by two agricultural people, as the 
sword or any other arm by two military nations, as a fit emblem 
of the deity, does not imply the necessity of any intercourse 
between them. Nor was it as a mere emblem that the cow and 

' As * mistress of sports and dancing/ 
she is represented holding the tambourine. 
(Birch, *Gall. of Antiq./ p. 20.) 

' It appears from the tale of the * Two 
Brothers' that there were seren cows of 
Athor, and that they were maleficent, like 
the fairies of modem folk-lore. In this 
tale it says, <The seven Hathors oame to 

see her, and they said with one month, 
that she should die a violent death.' 
These seven cows are represented in chap> 
ter czlviii. of the Ritual, along with the 
bull, perhaps Mnevis, or the bull of Turn. 
Each has a name. ( Lepsius, * Todtenbnch.' 
* Records of the Past,' ri. p. 145.)--S. B. 


ox were selected by the Egyptians, in consequence of their 
utility in the tillage of the land ; another and a more forcible 
reason subsisted for the honours paid to the former, which is 
explained by Porphyry.* * The utility of cattle, and the small- 
ness of their herds, induced the Egyptians to prohibit the 
slaughter of cows ; therefore, though they killed oxen for the 
altar and the table, they abstained from the females, with a 
view to the preservation of the race, and the law deemed it a 
sacrilege to eat their meat.' * The Egyptians and Phoenicians,' 
he adds, * would rather feed on human flesh than the flesh of a 
heifer,' in consequence, as St. Jerome observes, of the small 
stock of cattle in Palestine and the valley of the Nile ; and a 
similar motive may originally have induced the Hindoos to 
venerate the cow. 

Instances sometimes occur of the cow with a human head, 
wearing the asp and horns of Athor. The goddess is also re- 
presented as a bird with a human head, wearing her disk and 
boms. She is then in a character connected with the virtuous 
souls who have been admitted to the regions of Amenti. To 
Athor also appears to have been dedicated one of the sacred 
fish of Egypt, which even bears her name in the hieroglyphic 
legend that accompanies it.^ 

The name of Younger Horus was given to Horns, son of Isis 
and Osiris, to distinguish him from Aroeris, the brother of Osiris, 
who was styled the Elder Horus. He was supposed to have come 
into the world soon after the birth of his parents, and on the death 
of Osiris to have stood forth as the avenger of his father, de- 
feating Typho in several battles, and enabling Isis to thwart his 
evil intentions. It was probably in consequence of his victories 
over the enemy of mankind, that he was so often identified with 
Apollo, the story of whose combat with the serpent Pytho is 
evidently derived from the Egyptian mythology ;' and, indeed, 
the evU genius of his adversary is frequently figured under the 
form of a snake, whose head Horus is seen piercing with a 
spear. But this is not confined to Egyptian and Greek mytho- 
logj. The same fable occurs in the religion of India, where the 
malignant serpent Caliya is slain by Yishnoo, in his avatar of 

* Porplk. d« Abtt. ii. 11. the breath which came ont of her mouth. 

' Sometimes Athor wears on her head Her other children were Ahi-nr, Har-semt- 

the embWm of the West, of which she was ta, and Kamutef, all types of Hona8.->S. B. 

'refcat; and her other titles called her ' Macrob. Saturn, i. 19, p. 131, for thU 

^ ' or * ladj of the hearens.' She was fable, which he explains by the rays of the 

also notlMr of tha god Shu, who Ured by ran oyercoming the humidity of the earth. 

GB4P. xm.] HOBUa 123 

Criihna; and the Soandinayian deity Thor was said to have 
braiaed the head of the great serpent with his mace. The 
origin of this may be readily traced to the Bible history. The 
serpent pierced by the spear of Horns is evidently the Apophis 
alluded to by Plutarch^^ which, from the signification it bears in 
the Egyptian language, * the giant,' appears to have been the 
origin of the fable of the wars of the gods and giants. Horns 
generally stands in a boat accompanied by other deities, while 
piefcing the evil being in the water, who is sometimes repre- 
sented under the form of a man, though generally as a long 
serpent; calling to mind ^the dragon in the sea' mentioned 
by laaiah.' 

The hawk of Horns is sometimes perched on the back of an 
otyx, whilst Tarious gods approach it in an attitude of prayer ; 
bst this is apparently of late date, and perhaps connected with 
Htiological speculations. Aroeris, or tiie Elder Horns, may 
vifth equal reason be supposed to correspond to Apollo, if we 
mmj judge from the Greek dedications at Ombos and ApoUin- 
ipolis Panra, inscribed to * Aroeris, the great Apollo.' But the 
Jjihiion of Herodotus,' that Horus the Younger answered to that 
leity, is of greater weight, from the connection subsisting 
be l w iiien the deity of the floating Isle of Buto and Apollo, who 
■ ahown by the fabulous history attached to him to be the son 
if Ins. * Latona,' says the historian, * who lived at Buto, where 
ear oracle now is, having been charged by Isis with the care of 
Apollo, concealed him in this island. She preserved him there 
B aafety, while Typho was searching everywhere for the son of 
3ilrisL For they say that Apollo and Diana are bom of 
3aoehas (Osiris) and Isis, and that Latona was their nurse and 
er. Apollo is called Orus (Horus) in Egyptian ; Ceres, 
and Diana, Bubastis.' This appears to have been the 
of the fiftble respecting the Delos of the Greek Apollo, 
»:bich floated on the sea till it was made stationary by Neptune 
K Older to receive Latona, who was on the eve of being delivered 
tf Apolla 

Diodorus^ tells us that Apollo is the same as Horus, that the 
taught the art of medicine by his mother Isis, and that 
the last of the gods who were fabled to have reigned on 

" Pht. 4« Ifid. ML M umI 35. i Hen^dot. ii. 144, 156. 

* tarii iiTii. 1: •UrUfibu, t Jb«C crookwl « I>iodor. i. 25. M»crob. Satare. t 21. 

124 THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANa [Chap. yttt. 

earth, — a figurative tale, which I have already explained by the 
historical fact of the priesthood of different gods having ruled 
Egypt before the monarchical form of government was estab- 
lished in the person of Menes and his successors. 

Little reliance, however, is to be placed on what the Greeks 
tell us of the deities of Egypt. The authority of Greek inscrip- 
tions in the temples should be preferred to that of Herodotus, 
Diodorus, Macrobius, or any other writers; but, unfortunately, 
some difficulty arises from the uncertainty of the hieroglyphic 
legends themselves, — and these even leave undecided the claims 
of Horus and Aroeris to the name of Apollo. 

Plutarch^ would lead us to conclude that the city of Apollo 
was sacred to Horus ; since * the solemn hunting of the crocodile, 
annually held there, commemorated the escape of Typho from 
the pursuit of Horus under the form of that animaL' And as 
there is evidence of that city having been Apollinopolis Magna, 
now Edfoo, it is probable that the god worshipped there, who 
answered to the Greek Apollo, was another character of Horns 
the son of Osiris, having the additional title and attributes of' 
Hat, or Agathodsemon. Such is the uncertainty on this pointy 
that the deities of the two cities of Apollo do not appear to be 
the same, — one being Aroeris, and the other Har-Hat, or Aga- 
thodeemon : Strabo even appears to mistake Mentu for Aroeris ; 
and there is great confusion between the elder and younger 
Horus. This last and Harpocrates are not always easily sepa- 
rated, nor has Plutarch maintained a proper distinction between 
the elder and younger Horus ; and he not only gives to both of 
these the name of Apollo,^ but even to Harpocrates,' whom he 
confounds with the elder Horus. 

Horus, Aroeris, and Har-Hat, are all represented with the 
head of a hawk^ crowned with the pahenty or double crown of 
Upper and Lower Egypt. But the peculiar and distinguishing 
titie of the younger Horus is *the support or defender of his 
father, Osiris ; ' * and to him the kings of Egypt were likened, 
when, in the proclamation issued at the coronation, they were 
said to ^ put on the crown of Egypt like Horus, the son of Isis.' 
A similarly complimentary formula is used in the Bosetta Stone, 

' Pint, de Itfid. s. 50. * In the fabulous interpretation of thi» 

' Ibid. R. 12. ' Ibid. 8. 54. atory, Horus may be supposed to assiat hi» 

^ The hawk's head is also given to Ra, father, the inundation, hj forming the 

Mentu, Ptah-Socharis-Osiris, Khonsu, and clouds carried to the souroet of the riyer 

Qabsenof. ' whence it proceeded. 

Chap. XHT.] HOBUS. 126 

relatiye to the benefits conferred on the country by Ptolemy 
Epiphanes, — the king being compared to * HoniSy who assisted 
his father Osiris ;' and these, with numerous other legends, show 
that Horus was the prototype of royalty, and the representative 
of divine majesty. It was this idea which obtained for him the 
post of director of the sacred boats ; under which form was indi- 
cated 'the governor of the world/ as we are told by lamblichus:^ 
and there can be little doubt that, from his occupation of steers- 
man in the barts of the dead, were borrowed the name and office 
of Charon in the mythology of Greece. The hieroglyphic 
legend accompanying the figure of Horus is the hawk, some- 
times with a Uney sometimes with the flageUum of Osiria, over 
it, — ^the same signs which are given to the child Harpocrates. 
It is probable that an additional reason for supposing the Apollo 
of the Greeks to be the same as Horus, was owing to his being 
the son of Jupiter and grandson of Saturn, as the latter was son 
of Osiris, the son of Seb ; and the connection of the two deities 
is confirmed by the name 'HorapoUo' borne by individuals; 
though it is true that this might, with equal justice, apply to 
the elder as to the younger Horus. 

Plutarch,^ on the authority of Manetho, says, * The loadstone 
was called by the Egyptians the bone of Horus, as iron was the 
bone of Typho:' he also tells' us, that 'the constellation of 
Orion was sacred to Horus,^ as the dog-star to Isis;' and in 
another place,^ he mentions the allegorical and fanciful notion 
of * Horus being of a fair, as Typho was of a red, and Osiris of 
a black, complexion.' The same author states that Horus sig- 
nified that just and seasonable temperature of the circum- 
ambient air which preserves and nourishes all things;* and 
that the festival celebrated on the 30th day of Epiphi, when 
the sun and moon were supposed to be in the same right line 
with the earth, was called the birthday of Horus's eyes, — both 
those bodies being looked upon equally as the eyes or light of 
Homs.^ This deity was also reputed to have instituted the 
sacrifice to the sun, which was celebrated on the 4th day of 
every month in honour of that luminary; and HorapoUo even 
says that Horus was the sun.* It is scarcely necessary to 

^ lambL de Mjst. ch. i. : ' When they * The name of the constellation Orion is 

ttlTodoM the deit J as pilot of a ship, they supposed to have been Sah, the * Traverser,' 

BMiii gorenment, or the mJer of the or Sek. (Lepsios, * Einleit.,' p. 109.)~S. B. 

wwVd.' » Plut. de Isid. s. 22. • Ibid. s. 8. 

* W«L da liid. s. 62. » Ibid. s. 22. » Ibid. s. 62. • Horapollo, i. 317. 



[Chap. Xm. 

obeenrey that the remark of Smdas,^ who says Horns was iden- 
tical with Priapus, can only apply to a character given him at 
a late period; an instance' of which occurs at Denderah in 
scnlptnres of Roman time. Bnt these are of little authority 
respecting the real forms of the Egyptian deities ; several in- 
novations in the forms and attributes of the gods having been 
introduced on the monuments of that era, totally unauthorised 
by the sculptures of an ancient Pharaonic age. 

One of the principal duties of Horus was that of introducing 
the souls of the dead into the presence of Osiris, after they had 
passed the ordeal of their final judgment. He also assisted 
Anubis in weighing and ascertaining their good conduct during 

life, previous to their admission into the 
august*presence of his father, in the blessed 
regions of AmentL The hawk placed on 
the wooden tablets in the tombs, and 
sometimes on the mummy case itself, was 
an emblem of Horus. 

The warlike character, as well as the 
name of Horus, may also suggest a re- 
semblance to Ajres, the Mars of Greek 
mythology ; and, indeed, Horapollo seems 
to have in view either Horus or Ajoeris, 
when he says,' 'To denote Ares and 
Aphrodite, ike Egyptians delineate two 
hawks,' — since the hawk is the emblem 
both of Horus and Athor, the Egyptian 
Venus. This, however, could only be a 
partial analogy; since the god of war is represented under 
another distinct form, with the name Besppu ; and the weapons 
put into the hand of Horus only serve to prove his connec- 
tion with the Apollo of Greece, the patron of the bow, and 
the destroyer of the serpent. If the Greeks assigned to Mars, 
Apollo, and Minerva, the use of destructive weapons, which 
might appear exclusively to belong to the gods of war, the 
Egyptians in like manner extended the privilege to several 
deities independent of their god Eeshpu. The spear was given 
to Horus and to Shu ; the bow and arrows to Neith, to Sati, and 
to Khemi, who also holds the battle-axe and spear; and the 

Tablet ■urmoaDted by hawk* 
niummtfd. axetHf perhaps em- 
blem of Horus. 
So. 529. 

» Snidai, voc, npitaeos. ' Burton's Excerpta, plate 26. 

* Horapollo, Hierog. i. 8. 

Chap. Xm.] HOBUS AND ABOEBIS. 127 

shield and arrows were not denied as an emblem to a goddess 
who has the office of nnrse. 

The fanciful notion of Diodoros, Macrobius, HorapoUo, and 
others,^ that the Jiorai^ Jiorss^ ^ hours ' and * seasons/ received their 
name from Horus, because the sun was so called by the Egyp* 
tianSy is on a par with many other Greek etymologies, with this 
difference — ^that the Greeks usually derived the words of other 
languages from their own. The analogy between Horus and 
ouro^ * king/ mentioned by Salmasius,^ is remarkable, as Horus 
was the representative of majesty among the gods, and the hawk 
is put to designate a Pharaoh. But, as I have frequently had 
occasion to observe, it is from Ba or Phra and not from Horus, 
or, as Josephus supposes, from ourOf that the word Phrah, Pharaoh, 
was derived.' The close affinity in some instances between Ba, 
the sun, and Horus, makes it difficult to distinguish between 
them, especially as the hawk is an emblem of both. But the 
hawk bearing on its head the disk of the sun belongs to Ba ; and 
that which wears the pshent^ to Horus, the son of Osiris (who, 
like Ba, was the type of majesty) ; though, as already stated, 
this crown is sometimes appropriated by other hawk-headed 
deities, as Aroeris and Har-Hat. 

I have noticed the difficulty which presents itself in deciding 
which of these deities, the elder or younger Horus, corresponds 
to the Greek Apollo. 

It is true that Aroeris^ is mentioned, in the Greek dedication 

at ApoUinopolis Parva, as the deity of the place, answering to 

Apollo; and the same occurs again at Ombos, where he is 

figured as Horus, though not as the son of Osiris. But the many 

points of resemblance brought forward by Herodotus, Plutarch, 

and others, between Apollo and the son of Osiris, argue strongly 

in fikvour of the opinion that the younger Horus answers to 

Ae Greek Apollo. Aroeris was son of Seb and Nut ; and in a 

hieroglyphic legend at Philae he is styled son of Nut, and repre- 

wnted under the singular form of a hierafcosphinx. Plutarch 

tlunb him to have had the sun for his father, and to have been 

bom on the second day of the epact. Little more is related 

^^^Mwseming him, nor does he appear to have acted a very 

' ttodor. i 26. Macrob. Saturn, i. 26. * Uaroeria, in Egyptian Har-ur, means 

TPS^ *• ^''' * *h« greater ' or * elder Horus.' He was the 

^ J|^«ttkl, II. 4, p. 222. brother of Osiris, and personified divine 

Thi ttxU show that it is derired from pre-ezistence, and was adored at Ombos, 

rr^ *th« great house* or «court,' or and so united with Set or NubtL— 5. B. 

«• Cmt two booses' or *oourts.'— S. B. 


prominent part in the mythological history of his brother Oaiiis. 
In a papyrus publbhed by ChampoUion, he is styled * Haroeiris^ 
lord of the solar spirits, the beneficent eye of the snn ; ' and it is 
in this last sense that he appears to bear some analogy to ApoHo^ 
who, according to Plato, received his name from * the emisaLoii of 
the rays of light.' Apollo and the snn were distinct in the 
mythology of Greece ; and it is probable that the Egyptians 
separated the light from the heat, and perhaps even from the 
splendour of the sun ; considering it in the various characters to 
which I have already alluded. Har^oeri, or Aroeris, may be 
considered the eye and light,^ or the splendour and brightness 
of the sun, like the Greek Phoebus ; and if his connection with 
Ba is not sufiSciently obvious, the statements of Greek wiiten, 
added to the testimony of dedicatory inscriptions at Ombos 
and Apollinopolis Parva, authorise this opinion, while the 
younger Horus may enjoy an undisputed claim to the character 
of Apollo. 

Harpocrates^ was bom of Isis after the death of her husband, 
and is therefore distinct from Horus, her elder son by Osiris, who 
is said at that time to have been engaged in war with Tjrpha 
Plutarch tells us,^ that ' Harpocrates, being the offspring of the 
intercourse of Osiris with Isis after his death, and having oome 
into the world before his time, was lame in his lower limbs.' 
This allegorical fable he explains^ by interpreting ^ HarpocxateSi 
whom she brought forth about the time of the winter solstice^ to 
be those weak and tender shootings of the com which are as 
yet feeble and imperfect; for which reason the Egyptians 
dedicate the firstfruits of their lentils to this god, and celebrate 
the feast of his mother's delivery just after the vernal equinox.' 
* We must not, however,' he adds,' ' really look upon Harpocrates 
as an infant and imperfect deity, or as the young and tender 
shoots of the pulse, but rather as the governor and rectifier of 
those weak, incomplete notions, which we are apt to form of the 
divine nature. For which reason, we see him described with his 
finger pointing to his mouth — a proper emblem of that modest 
and cautious silence we ought to observe in these matters. So, 
when they offer him the firstfruits of their lentils in the month 

> This cannot fail to call to mind the child * or ' germ/ (Pierret, Vocab. p. 247.) 

aor, ' light,' of the Hebrews ; though not — S. B.] 

resembling the Egyptian word of the same ' Pint de Isid. s. 19. 

meaning. * Ibid. s. 65. 

' His name was Harpaxrat, ' Horns the ' Ibid. s. 68. 


Mesor^, they at the same time exclaim, ^^ The tongne is fortune, 
the tongue is god : " and hence it is that, of aU Egyptian plants, 
the peach-tree is looked upon peculiarly sacred to Harpocrates, 
because of the resemblance observed between its fruit and the 
heart, and between its leaves and the human tongue/ There is, 
however, reason to believe that this is one of the many errors 
with which the accounts of Greek writers abound. The peach- 
tree, unless it be the same as Persea, was not sacred to any deity ; 
and it is evident that he had in view the holy tree of Athor, 
whose fruit, as represented in the sculptures, so strongly resembles 
the heart. 

Harpocrates is represented as an infant nursed by Isis, or 
with his finger to his mouth, having a lock of hair falling from 
the side of his head. The same figure is commonly employed 
by the Egyptians to indicate a child. He is generally in a sit- 
ting posture ; instances, however, occur of his standing upright, 
and walking alone, or at the side of his mother. The lock of 
hair, the distinguishing mark of a child, though one of his 
principal characteristics, is not confined to Harpocrates: it is 
given to the younger members of other Egyptian triads, as Ahi, 
Har-semt-ta, Pneb-ta, Har-para, Harka,.and Hak^ who in form 
and general attributes are similar to the child of Lds. It is also 
worn by Khonsu, the offspring of Amen and Mut, in the great 
Theban triad ; and the priest who ofiSciates in the leopard-skin 
dress, even though he be the king himself, assumes this badge 
of youth, probably emblematic of that spotless innocence with 
which it became the supreme pontiff to approach the presence 
of the gods. I have occasionally met with Harpocrates wearing 
round his neck a vase, the emblem of Ma, the goddess of tmth ; 
which probably refers to * the amulet ' said by Plutarch* to have 
been ^ worn by Isis at the time she brought him into the world, 
which was reported to mean "speaking the truth.*'* As the 
child of Isis, he may represent ycnUh in general: and when 
seated in Hades before Osiris, or in the sepulchral chambers 
containing the sarcophagi of the dead, he is the symbol of 
resuscitation, or new birth. This alludes to the change of state 
which every one undergoes at his death, purporting that dis- 
solution is only the cause of reproduction ; that nothing perishes 
which has once existed;^ and that things which appear to be 

^ Pint, de Iiiid. 9. 68. Phcdo: *The liring are generated fnm 

' ei^^jcci 8* offScr r&r ytyyofU^mw, of the dead, no less than the dead from the 
the Chrjiippns of Enripides; and Plato, liring' (p. 280, tram. Taylor). 

Chap. Xm.] HARPOCRATE& 131 

destroyed, only change their natures and pass into another form. 
The same idea is probably repeated in the triad (so often found 
in the tombs made of blue pottery or other composition) con- 
sbting of Isis, Nephthys, and Harpocrates, which I suppose to 
signify the beginning, the end, and reproduction after death.^ 
It may also be traced in what Macrobius says of the mode of 
representing the sun ^ by an image having a lock of hair on the 
right side of its head/ ^ which was emblematic of the reappearance 
of that luminary ^ after it was concealed from our sight at its 
setting ; or of the return of the sun to the solstice.'^ But this 
seems rather to apply to the god Ahi. In some monuments of 
the late date of the Ptolemies and Caesars, Harpocrates is repre- 
sented seated on a throne, supported by lions, and even placed 
upon the backs of those animals ;^ which cannot fail to call to 
mind the remark of HorapoUo,' that ^ the Egyptians put lions 
under the throne of Horns — ^this being their name for the sun : ' 
though he is wrong in supposing the sun to be the same as Horus. 
The notion respecting his being the god of silence appears to be 
of Greek origin : for, as I have already observed, the Egyptians 
did not indicate it by the finger, but by placing the whole hand 
oyer the mouth.* The position of Harpocrates' finger, therefore, 
appears rather to refer to a habit common to children in all 
times and in every country : and that the form of his body, with 
a prominent abdomen, was aptly chosen to indicate extreme 
youth, is sufficiently proved by the appearance of Egyptian 
children at the present day. Instances occur of Harpocrates 
with the cap and feathers of Amen; but as these are bronze 
statues, and unaccompanied by hieroglyphics, there is no possi- 
bility of ascertaining the exact character he bore when so 

The connection between Harpocrates, as well as other of these 
iniant deities, and the god, generally called Typhonian, whom 
I have supposed to represent death, is very remarkable. But 
I sliall treat of it more fully in another place, when describing 
the attributes and character of that deity. 

' Tbt rappoted ooonection in Hebrew * Bosellini, plate 18. 
^weea mout, * denth,' and mut, ' mother/ * Horapollo, i. 17. 

'^ « •fTODeoua notion ; finoe the latter U * In the bronze figures the finger is 

^ aad not mart. raised to the level of the chin. — S. B. 

' lUcrobtns, Satnm. i. 26 : * Rnrsnm ^ They represent Har as the eldest son 

*">OKeDdi nti capillos habere snbstantiam.' of Amen, perhaps a variety of the type of 

*Ibid. L 26: 'Rnnna emergens ad Khonsn. (Birch, < GalL of Antiq./ p. 38.) 

fs^m hemisph«rium tanqnam enascens — S. B. 
ii tapneau porrigitur.* 

K 2 


The form and attributes of the jonthfiil deity Ahi are similar 
to those of HarpocrateSy from whom the hieroglyphic legends 
alone distinguish him. He is the third member of the triad of 
Denderah, and son of Har-hat and Athor, by whom he is nursed. 
This goddess, in the character of mother of an infant, appears 
to have borrowed the attributes of Isis ; but the same office is 
assumed by other goddesses. 

Athor occurs again at Edfoo as the mother of EJArHsemt-ta, 
her son by Har-Hat ; and Nebuu, a form of Neith, is at Esndi 
the mother of the young Hak6. Like Harpocrates, and other of 
these infant deities, he is represented with his finger raised to 
his mouth, the sign of extreme youth ; and he is sometimes 
represented sitting on the flower of a lotus. He is then supposed 
to signify the sun in the winter solstice, or the rising sun ; and 
the crook and flagellum, the emblems of Osiris, which he some- 
times carries, may be intended to indicate the influence he is 
about to exercise upon mankind. The vase from which the plant 
grows is a lake of water, and the usual initial of the word ma or 
moOy * water.' * They do, indeed,' says Plutarch,* * characterise 
the rising sun as though it sprang every day afresh out of the 
lotus-plant ; but this implies, that to moisture we owe the first 
kindling of this luminary.' I may, however, venture to offer 
another interpretation, suggested both by the allegory itself, as 
well as by his hieroglyphical name Ahi, — that he corresponds 
to the day or morning ; and in this character he may answer to 
Aurora. Some might perhaps apply to him the name Phos- 
phorus, which seems to accord with an inscription mentioned by 
Jablonski;^ but he was distinct from Venus, or the morning 

The resemblance, indeed, between Ahi, or Pa-hru, * the day,' 
in Egyptian, and Eos, the Greek Aurora, is sufficiently striking : 
and if for the * sun ' rising every morning from a lotus-flower, 
we substitute the * day,' we find the remark of Plutarch justly 
applies to this deity : and we may readily pardon his error in 
mistaking him for Harpocrates, whom he so much resembles. 
It may, then, be supposed that he represents the day ; and he 
is with justice considered the child of Athor, or niffhi, from which 
every new day was supposed to spring. I must, in conclusion, 
make this remark on the lotus-plant on which he is represented 

* Plot de bid. s. 11. ' Bono Deo, 

* Jablonskt, ii. 6, p. 256 :— Ftteio Phosphoro.* 

Chap. Xm.] 



seated, — that It is always the Nymphtea totaa, and in do instance 
the Nelnmbo. And though this last ia mentioned by several 
ancient authors among the planta of Egypt, it is never intro- 
duced into the Bculptnres as a sacred emblem, or, indeed, as a 
prodaction of the country ; a fact which goes far to disprove one 
of the sapposed analogies of the Egyptian and Indian objects 
of Teneeation. With regard to the common lottis, so frequently 
represented as a bvourite flower in the hands of the Egyptians 

. ' Hir-kat. (ml gad. Inn) of bHnn.' 

. •lUr-U(,fn»L|gd.lar 

■*. -Uit'CEdfti]. 

lord of Dendcnli.' 

(u the rose or others might be in the hands of any modem 
people), there is no evidence of its having been sacred, much 
W an ol^ect of worship, though it is an emblem of the god 

&a there appears to be some connection between the deity Eat 
»4 Honis, I introduce him with the members of the family of 
Seb. Hat wia the Good Genius, or Agathodsemon, under whose 


protection the persons of the kings and the temples of the gods 
were placed. In the form of a sun supported by two asps and 
outspread vultures' wings, he occurs over the doorways and 
facades of buildings. Sometimes he is represented as a winged 
scarabaeus, supporting a globe or sun with its fore-feet; as a 
hawk, he hovers over the monarch while offering sacrifices in the 
temples, or on other occasions ; and as a deity of human shape, 
with a hawk's head, he pours alternate emblems of life and power 
over the prince at his coronation. In this office he is assisted 
by the god Nilus, Thoth, or Nubti; one of whom, placed 
opposite him, pours a stream of similar emblems from another 
vase over the king who stands between them. His place is 
sometimes taken by one of those deities. When opposed to 
Nubti, he appears to represent the Upper, as tiie latter the Lower, 
Country. He also assists in binding the throne of the monarch 
with the stalks of water-plants, in company with Nilus, or with 
Thoth,^-one using those emblematic of the Upper, the other of 
the Lower, Country. The ceremony itseK refers to the dominion 
of the king over Upper and Lower Egypt. 

When represented as a man, with a hawk's head, he appears 
to be related to the AgathodsBmon of the Phoenicians ; which, 
according to Eusebius, was supposed (tiiough erroneously) to be 
the same as Neph, with ' the head of a hawk.' In the character 
of the winged globe, he unites the attributes of Ba, E!hnum, and 
Mut, the sun, asp, and vulture's wings. He may then be said 
more particularly to deserve the name of the Good Genius; 
though, as I have already observed, the Agathodaemon, which 
presided over the affairs of men as the guardian spirit of their 
houses, was the asp of Bannu ; according with another state- 
ment of Eusebius,^ that Agathodaemon was figured under the 
form of a serpent. The winged globe may perhaps call to mind 
the Mand shadowing with wings ;'^ as the figures kneeling at 
either end of the sacred arks, or boats, recall the winged 
seraphim. The name of this deity is written Hat, when under 
the form of a hawk, and of the winged globe, in attendance on 
the kings ; and when under the name and character of Har-Hat, 
he usually wears the pshent, or crown of Upper and Lower 
Egypt, which seems to connect him with Horus. He is some- 
times represented with wings, holding a spear, and crowned with 
the pshent of Horus; but this is in temples of a Ptolemaic 

> Eiueb. Pnepar. Erang. i. 10. ' Isaiah zTiii. 1.] 



era. He frequently appears at Denderali, aod also in tlie oldest 
temples, in all these chaiacteia ; and the temple of Edfoo, or 
Apollinopolis Magna, being dedicated to him, aeems to give him 
a claim to the name of Apollo. At this last place, an instance 
occiirs of the god Har-Eat with the head of a lion and the solar 
dish, holding a monkey in his hand. He stands in a boat ; and 
before him Thoth, Isis, Nephthys, and two other goddesses, raise 
their hands in an attitude of prayer, while Horns pierces the 
head of Apophis with a spear.* 

■. Sir^-wn. I. Tte two-h«ded god Horu or Hu of Hat ui] SM nnltid. 

The deity NnbH is sometimes represented, as already observed, 
I^J**""^^ with, and in the same office as, the last-mentioned 
^^ pooimg the emblems of life and power over the kings, in 
™« place of Thoth; and as teaching them the use of the bow, 
••Sether with the same bawk-headed god, Har-Hat It might 

•W th! *^^ ^*^ ** ■"PpoMii <« »pra- igdnit tha eonaplnton of 5«t. (NmrUI*, 
Hit 1/ d*"* P"^ throiuh tti< hMTBDa. •HTtbs d'Honu.' Piamt, Voub., p. 1S7.) 
" M« titl, tjpe Qf Horn fighting — S. B. 


appear that Nubti was connected with the Lower Conntry, as 
Har-Hat with Upper Egypt, to whom he was opposed. For, in 
the ceremony of the Panegyries, where the king is represented 
ranning to the temple to perform the accustomed rites, we find 
this deity introduced on the side of the picture, corresponding 
to Lower Egypt, with all the emblems of that part of the country, 
as tho asp, the northern water-plant, and the genius of Lower 
Egypt; the king also wearing the cap of that district. But 
Nubti generally has, in his hieroglyphic legend, the title ' Lord 
of the region of the Upper Country,' as is the case even in the 
subject to which I have above alluded, though accompanied by 
the emblems of Lower Egypt. This, then, may be intended to 
indicate the combined protection of the deities of both regions. 
In the cartouches of Osirei and other Pharaohs, his figure is 
introduced as a substitute for Osiris. In the hieroglyphic 
legends on the monuments,^ he is shown to have been the son of 
Nut; on the wooden cubits found at Memphis, the names of 
Seb and Nut are followed by Osiris, Isis, Nubti,' Nephthys, and 
Aroeris ; and I have met with a group of figures representing 
the family of Nut, in which he occurs with Osiris, Aroeria,' 
Isis, and Nephthys, as the third son of that goddess. This 
agrees with the statement of Plutarch,^ that Osiris was bom on 
the first, Aroeris on the second, Typho on the third, Isis on the 
fourth, and Nephthys on the fifth day. 

Hence it is evident that the deity before us was one of the 
characters of Typho, and the reason of his figure being erased on 
almost all the monuments where it occurs was owing to the 
hatred with which they viewed the Evil Being he represented : 
though, as I shall have occasion to show, the good and bad 
principles were viewed with a different feeling by the philosophers 
of early times. He is figured under a human form, having the 
head of a quadruped with square-topped ears, which some might 
have supposed to represent an ass with clipped ears, if the 
entire animal did not too frequently occur to prevent this 
erroneous conclusion. That it was an imaginary creature is 
evident from its form, and from being placed at Beni-Hassan 
with sphinxes ^ and other fanciful animals ; all conjecture is 

> An instance of this occurs on the Horus. * Plat, do Isid. •. 12. 

Obelisk of Luxor, at Thebes. * The sphinx was chosen as an emblem 

' Nubti means the town of Ombos, and of the king, and was intended to impl j tk« 

he is the * Set of Mubti,' when so mentioned, union of physical and intellectnal forot, hj 

— S. B. its bodj of a lion and its human head ; or, 

' This deit J wean the pthent^ like as Clemens of Alexandria lajs, * the union 



[Chap. XTTT. 

therefore useless, both regarding its name and the reason for 
which it was selected. 

Had the head of this deity been that of the ass, its adoption 
would have suited the character of the Evil Being, and have 
accorded with the statement of Plutarch, who says the Egyptians 
considered that animal emblematic of Typho. 'Hence the 
Coptites have the custom of throwing an ass down a precipice ; 
and the inhabitants of Busiris and Lycopolis carry their detesta^ 
tion of it so far as never to make use of trumpets, fancying that 
their sound is similar to the braying of an ass. Indeed, this 
animal is generally regarded by them as unclean, on account of 
its supposed resemblance to Typho ; for which reason, the cakes 
offered with their sacrifices, during the two months Pauni and 
Phaophi, have the impression of an ass, bound, stamped upon 
them.' ^ Even if the entire quadruped itself were not present to 
decide this point, their mode of representing animals was too 
accurate to admit of such a misconception ; and a figure with the 
head of an ass represented among the numerous genii in the 
temple of Tuot, or Tuphium, suffices to show the marked distino- 
tion between it and the one before us. The inaccuracy of Greek 
writers presents considerable difficulty in deciding upon any 
point not elucidated by the Egyptian monuments. We are told 
that Typho was the name of the Evil Being, who was the son of 
Nut, and brother of Osiris. But, judging from the hieroglyphio 
legends, there is reason to belieye Typho to be a female deity, 
apparently distinct from the Evil Being who was the persecutor 
of Osiris ; and we are unable to trace in the name of Nubti any 
of the titles, Seth,^ Bebo,^ Babys,* or Smy,* given by Plutarch to 
Typho. On this last point, however, I shall not insist, sinoe 
the force of the hieroglyphics* composing it is not positively 
ascertained ; but we may be certain that the name Typho was 
not applied to this deity, though he fulfilled the office of the 
Evil Being opposed to the good Osiris, his brother, and answered 
in every respect to the character of the third son of Nut. 

It appears that the Egyptian mythology acknowledged two 

of force with prudence or wiwlom/ &Xic^t 
rh at fi4ra awter4ws ri a^ly^ (Strom, v.). 
He roDs into the osnal error of considering 
the sphinx female ; the Egyptians making 
it inyariablj male, which is consistent 
with its being a representative of the king. 

1 Pint, de Isid. s. 80. 

' Set and Sntekh constantly occur on 
the monuments.-^. B. 

' Buba or Bebon is mentioned i& tKa 
Ritual, xvii. and zciii. (Pierret, 'Dict^' 
p. 80.)— S. B. 

** Athen. Deipn. lib. xr. p. 680. 

* Plat, de Isid. ss. 62, 49. [Smy is pro- 
bably the Egyptian Smu, or SemUf mentioned 
as the * conspirator * against Osiris. — S. &] 

• He sometimes seems to hare a titlft 
similar to S6th. 

Chap. Xm.] NUBTI, THE EVIL BEING. 139 

deities who answered to the description given by the Greeks of 
Typho : one, who was the son of Nut, and was opposed to his 
brother Osiris, as the bad to the good principle; the other 
bearing the name of Typho, and answering to that part of his 
character which represents him as the opponent of Horus. 

From the constant and almost universal erasure of his figure, 

the Egyptians seem to have looked upon this deity as a hateful 

being, the enemy of mankind. But the offices he sometimes 

bore, the presentation of prayers and offerings, and the respect 

frequently paid to him in temples of the oldest periods, where he 

occurs as one of the contemplar gods, show that his character 

was not always the same as ascribed by us to the wicked Satan ; 

but an abstract notion of what was hurtful and bad, acting in 

opposition to the good, yet still necessary to mankind, and part 

of the system ordained by the divine intellect. ' For the harmony 

of the world,' as Heraclitus observes,^ ^ like that of a harp, is 

made up of discords, consisting of a mixture of good and evil ; ' 

and Euripides says, ^Good and evil cannot be separated firom 

each other, though they are so tempered as to produce beauty 

and order.' If such was the opinion of the Egyptians, we are not 

surprised to find that sacrifices were offered to the bad principle, 

as though his votaries considered themselves benefited by his 

interposition. And it is probable that they so viewed the 

connection between the good and bad, as to consider that nothing 

injurious to mankind was not ordained for a good purpose ; that 

virtue even was a vice, when carried to an extreme ; and that no 

bad quality of the mind could not be turned to a good purpose, 

if properly tempered by the judgment and understanding. 

These ideas may be obscurely hinted at in the emblematic figure 

ofthis deity with the head of a hawk added to his own, as though 

it represented the union of his attributes with those of Horus, or 


The same may also be traced in the office performed by this 
deity, in company with Horus, of placing the crown on the 
head of the king ; or with Har-Hat,^ Agathodaemon, of pouring 
OTer him, from a vase, the emblems of life and purity. This 
<^mony might imply, that during his life, and the dis- 
^ii^ished career he had entered upon, even the monarch himself 
could only expect, in the ordinary course of events, an alternation 

* Plvt d« Uid. 1. 45. Horns (the lord) of Edfu or Apollinopolis 

' Woodcut Ho. 531, fig, 2. Magna.— S. B. 

•Har-Hat U luWj tho ffar^en-Bdt, 


of good and bad fortune ; and that he ought, therefore, unceas- 
ingly to appeal to the protection of the gods, who alone could 
arert calamities and insure his happiness. In the mythological 
history of Osiris, there is one person who, from haying the double 
character of a friend and an enemy of the gods, bears a re- 
semblance to the deity before us. According to Diodorus,^ when 
Osiris undertook his expedition from Egypt, in order to visit and 
dispense benefits to the different countries of the world, he left 
Isis in charge of the affairs of his kingdom, aided by the counsels 
of Mercury. Hercules waa appointed generalissimo of Egypt; 
Busiris, of the sea-coast, with the parts adjacent to Phoenicia ; 
and Antaeus, of the Ethiopian and Libyan districts.^ After the 
death of Osiris, his murderer Typho was defeated by Isis and 
Horus, at a spot on the Arabian side of the river, near to the 
village of Ajitseus, ^o called from the Antaeus whom Hercules 
punished during the lifetime of Osiris. Whence it appears that 
Typho and Antaeus were the enemies of the good deities Osiris 
and Hercules. Antaeus, however, was admitted into the Egyptian 
Pantheon ; temples were erected to him ; and the city of Ant«eo- 
polis, the capital of a nome of the same name,' and the successor 
of the village mentioned by Diodorus, acknowledged the god 
whose name it bore. In this we perceive the origin of the fable 
respecting the giant Antaeus, in Greek mythology ; * of which, 
however, I do not stop to inquire the meaning. It is of little 
moment, if Aintaeus, according to one of the many allegories 
devised for explaining the story of the wars of the gods, re- 
presented the sand of the desert, and was thence reputed to be 
the offspring of the earth. The only point of importance for my 
present object is the double character of Antaeus, like that of the 
god Nubti, which I think clearly established ; and the error of 
the Greeks, who confounded the latter deity with Typho, may be 
readily accounted for, by the connection between Typho and 
Antaeus, in the account given by Diodorus. At Gau, the ancient 
Antaeopolis, a temple till lately stood on the banks of the Nile ; 
but the last standing column was swept away by the river in 
1821 ; and we have now lost the only monument which could 
decide this interesting question, to confirm or disprove the 
identity of Nubti and Antaeus. 

* Diodor. i. 17, 21. RomAn period. 

« The chief god of AnUeopolis is Horns, * Juv. iii. 89. Pindar, Pyth. ix. 18S - 

who is supposed to be Antiens in one of his Luc. Phars. ir. 615. Strabo, xvii. p. 570« 

forms or types. — S. B. ed. Gas. Plin. r. 1. 

' Plin. V. 9. It is of the Greek and 

Chip, Xm.] GOOD AND EVIL. 141 

Sufficient proof exists of the possibility of the same deity 
being looked upon in two different characters ; and Plutarch has 
given some of the various theories respecting the two principles. 
* Some/ he says/ * assert that there are two gods of two contrary 
offices, — one the cause of all that is good in the world, the other 
of all that is evil. Others, again, call the good principle only 
God— giving the name of Diemon to the Evil Being— in which 
number is Zoroaster the Magos, who is reported to have lived 
5000 years before the Trojan War. That philosopher named the 
good principle Oromazes (Ormusd), and the evil one Arimanes 
(Ahriman) ; between whom he supposed another intermediate 
being, called Mithras, considered by the Persians the Mediator. 
He also taught that sacrifices for future or thanks for past 
benefits were to be offered to the Good Being, as those for the 
purpose of averting misfortunes to the evil one. 

* In the writings of Empedocles, the good principle is some- 
times defined by the name of Love and Friendship, and frequently 
by that of sweet-looking Harmony ; the evil one being denomi- 
nated pernicious Enmity and Strife. By the Pythagoreans, the 
good one is called ^* the Unit, the Definite, the Fixed, the Straight, 
the Odd, the Square, the Equal, the Dexterous, and the Lucid ; " 
and the evil one, " the Duad, the Indefinite, the Movable, the 
Crooked, the Even, the Oblong, the Unequal, the Sinistrous, the 
Dark." Anaxagoras styles the one Intelligence, the other Infinity ; 
and Aristotle describes them by the names of Form and Privation. 
Plato in his Books of Laws observes that *' this world is not moved 
by (me soul only, but perhaps by many — certainly not fewer 
than two : one of whom is of a benevolent disposition, and the 
author of everything that is good ; whilst the other is of a con- 
trary turn of mind, and the author of everything that is evil." 
h, the Egyptian theory, we are to understand by Osiris, the 
^ulties of the universal soul, such as intelligence and reason ; 
Mid in the general system of matter, whatever is regular, 
pennanent, and salutary, such as orderly seasons, a due tempera- 
ment of the air, and the stated revolutions of the heavenly bodies, 
^ut those powers of the universal soul which are subject to the 
^uence of passions, and in the material system, whatever is 
iioxiotis — as irregular seasons, bad air, eclipses of the sun and 
Dioou— are ascribed to Typho.' *Upon the whole, however, 
^iris, or the good principle, has the superiority; which 

1 Plat de laid. s. 46, et seq. 


seems likewise to have been the opinion botli of Plato and 
Aristotle.' ^ 

Looking, therefore, upon the bad as a necessary part of the 
universal system, and inherent in all things equally with the 
good, the Egyptians treated the Evil Being with divine honours, 
and propitiated him with sacrifices and prayers. It is not, how- 
ever, impossible that they may have looked upon this deity with 
different feeUngs in later times, and have ceased to pay him the 
respect he formerly enjoyed. Dunng the 18th and 19th 
Dynasties^ and perhaps long after that period, he continued to 
receive the homage of numerous votaries ; but subsequently a 
general feeling of hatred seems to have sprung up against him, 
and his figure was erased from the sculptures. This does not 
appear to have been done in a systematic manner, as the result 
of a general order given by the priesthood to that effect, but in a 
moment of anger, as would be the case when the people acted 
from sudden impulse or excitement. It therefore happens that 
the figure sometimes escaped this indignity; which could not 
have been the case, had the careful scrutiny of the priesthood 
been employed to detect and deface it. 

There is some difficulty in ascertaining the exact time when 
the erasure took place. The monuments of the later dynasties 
offer few of the subjects in which this deity usually took part. 
It is not therefore right to conclude that he had then ceased to 
be worshipped as in olden times ; and, indeed, there is so much 
imcertainty on this head, that we are not sure if the erasure was 
the work of the Egyptians or of the early Christians. But this 
last is far from probable, since they could have had no reason to 
respect or hate any particular deity of a Pagan temple. 

If so marked an aversion for his figure really indicates a 
change in the feelings of the Egyptians towards this deity, it is 
possible that it may have had some connection with the invasion 
of Persia — the god having fallen into disgrace in consequence of 
that event ; as the Boman deities were sometimes punished for 
their supposed neglect of the interests of their votaries.^ But 
it is evident that it could not date from the early period of the 
Exodus, since the temple of Barneses III. alone suffices to show 
he was in favour long after that event. 

Whether owing to a change in the religious fancies of the 

1 Plat, de hid. s. 59. Plutarch (de hid. t. 73) tells ns, with the 

' This was alto the case ia Egypt, as sacred animals. 


Egyptians, or to any other oansOy it is not a singular instance. 
We haye already noticed the erasure and substitution of hiero- 
glyphics in the name of Amen : and though the Egyptians were 
great conservatiyes in their religious institutions, some innoya- 
tions were introduced during the long period of their history. 
Nor can anyone suppose that the accessories of their religion 
underwent no modifications, that the simplicity of the early 
worship had not many new ideas engrafted upon it, and that 
speculatiye theories did not from time to time increase the 
number of the Egyptian gods. 

I am eyen disposed to think that a change of this kind might 

proceed from another cause: that good and bad, which were 

viewed abstractedly at one period, were afterwards treated 

literally; nothing then remaining but the mere opposition of 

Osiris and Typho, the positiyely good and the positiyely bad 

being, the one all that was beneficial, the other all that w£ks 

noxious to mankind. If the one was the Nile, which fertilised 

the country, the other was the desert, which destroyed all 

yegetable life : and they no longer entertained the opinions of 

those earlier philosophers, who contended that good and bad 

formed part of one great principle ; that eyil proceeded from 

good, as good from eyil ; and that both were intended for the 

benefit of mankind. 

It was not until men considered the bad distinctly separate 

from the good, in a positiye and literal sense, that Typho was 

treated as the enemy of man. Such was the idea entertained by 

the Boman yotaries of Osiris. There is eyen reason to belieye 

^ a similar change in the sentiments of the Egyptians towards 

tiiig deity is hinted at by Plutarch,^ when he says, * It is eyident 

ttiey hold Typho in great abhorrence, though they still make 

offerings to him, as if to console him for the loss of his power, 

which had become less formidable than formerly.' ^ It was in 

oonaequence,* he iwids, *of their hatred of Typho, that they 

^i^ated with ignominy those persons who, from the redness of 

^eir complexions, were imagined to bear a resemblance to him ;' 

^d,<from a similar notion, they made choice of red oxen in 

^ir sacrifices.' The ^ ass' was also selected as an appropriate 

emblem of the eyil deity, from its being usually of that colour.' 

Diodorus' eyen asserts, that *men of red complexions were 

lonnerly sacrificed to Osiris, in consequence of tiieir supposed 

! "»^ ^^ ^^ ». so. bat of • kind of gryphoiL— S. K 

The hmd of Set ii not tKtt of an m, » Diodor. i. 88. 


resemblance to Typho ; ' though this may be reasonably doubted, 
as so many tales related by the Greeks respecting the customs of 
the Egyptians. The supposed birthday of Typho was, in like 
manner, looked upon as inauspicious ; and * accordingly, on the 
third day of the epact, the kings neither transacted any business, 
nor even suffered themselves to take any refreshment till the 
evening.'^ If it appears singular that this hatred of the Evil 
Being did not prevent their propitiating him on certain occasions, 
the custom is not confined to the Egyptians ; fetr less speculative 
people have adopted it even to the present day ; and philosophers 
have offered many conflicting opinions on the abstract theory of 
the good and bad, the origin of sin, and the power, cause, and 
nature of evil. 

The fact of the figure of this deity being so generally erased, 
and the change in the name of Amen, go far to prove that 
certain innovations took place in the religious theories of the 
Egyptians; and if we could discover earlier monuments than 
those which now remain, we might find the number of deities 
more limited than in the time even of the 18th Dynasty. 

[The myth of Set has attracted from an early period the 
attention of Egyptologists, and has been treated at great length. 
He appears on the monuments as early as the 6th Dynasty, and 
is treated with the same honour as the other members of the 
family of Seb. His subsequent titles are *the great god, lord 
of heaven, the very valiant,' and in the Bitual he is mentioned 
in connection with Horus, of whom he was the great antagonist. 
The great contest between Set and Horus after the death of 
Osiris lasted three days and nights, and the gods changed them- 
selves into two animals, probably lions. This battle took place 
at the back of the sea, and after the defeat of Set the companions 
of the god were changed into animals. Set was supposed to 
have been stabbed by Horus in the heart, and part of his organs 
torn away. He also injures the eye of Horus in the shape of a 
pig. In the Egyptian mythology he appears as the evil prin- 
ciple, and also the sun-god. But the great interest of the god 
Set was his connection with the Hykshos and Canaanites, when 
he generally bears the name of Sutekh or Sut. As such he was 
worshipped during the Shepherd rule in Amaris ; after which his 

* Pint, de Isid. s. 12. It is feingiilar and that Tuph&n is the Arabic name of 

that the name * Typhon ' (Tiphoon) i^as the Deluge. [It is the Chinese Tai fung, 

applied to a * sudden whirlwind ' in former * great wind.'---S. B.] 
times (Plin. ii. 28), as at the present day ; 

Chap. Xin.] 



worship still continnedy apparently in connection with Baal, and 
he was the type of Northern, as Horus of Southern, Egypt. Two 
of the monarchs of the 19th Dynasty bore his name ; and his 
worship as Set-ra, from which it is supposed may be deriyed 
the Sethroites, was kept up by Osorkon IL He was the chief 
god of the E^ta, and at a later period, for reasons unknown, 
either religious or political, his name was erased from the public 
monuments. The chief seat of his worship was at Ombos, 
where he had the name Nubti, or Ombos, and Set-Nubti, or Set, 
Lord of Ombos. One idea is, that his name was the most ancient 
one of Grod amongst the Semitic races. He assumed the form 
of a man, of a lion, or beast, perhaps a hippopotamus, a boar, 
and a serpent, in the war of the gods. His name Set means 
'limestone' and *fire.'^— S. B.] 

I haye already obserred, that there is reason to consider the 
evil being, the son of Nut, distinct from Typho ; and this last to 
be a female rather than a male deity. The son of Nut whom, 
m the uncertainty which still attends the reading of his name, 
I consider to be Nubti, has evidently no office in connection 
with Horus; but the figure in the accompanying plate is re- 
presented opposed to the son of Osiris, and holds a conspicuous 
place in those temples and sculptures which refer to his mysterious 
history. Taur appears to be the principal personage amidst the 
tightful and capriciously formed figures which appear as the evil 
genii of the Egyptian mythology ; and in astronomical subjects 
she may be supposed to represent, as Plutarch says of Typho, the 
eclipses of the sun and moon, and the occultations of the stars, 
or to preside over the birth of the sun. She has the body, 
apparently, of a hippopotamus, or of a bear, with the head some- 
times of a hippopotamus, sometimes of a crocodile, the tail of the 
l&tter, and the hands and breasts of a woman ; and she frequently 
^ears on her head the globe and horns of Athor, with two long 
^'^theis. Her hand reposes on an emblem not very unlike a pair 
of shears ; and she sometimes rests one hand upon a crocodile's 
head, standing on its tail.' 

At the quarries of Silsilis she is worshipped as a deity. 

/ H. Ea. Meyer, * Set-Typhon,* Leipz. 
!»7S. Pleyte, ' Die Religion der Pre-Iirael- 
"^' Utrecht, 1862. 

' Tlie lame of this goddess is Tanr or 
]ooMm, snd she is said to be the ooDcubine 
^ Typhon ; she also had the name of She- 

^ S?/^ ^ ^P«*» * ^* hippopotamui/ 
Ai Ombos these deities pnsided over the 

months. Taur has the title of 'resident 
in the pure waters belonging to the abyssal 
heights of heaven, regent of gods.' Apet is 
called * the great one who has given birth 
to the boy, companion of the great one who 
reside in Thebes, the great mother of 
Eamntf.' (Birch, ' Gall, of Antiq.,' p. 41. 
Pierret, *Dict.,' p. 52.)— S. B. 


Chap. XHI.] TYPHO. 147 

accompanied or followed by Thoth and a goddess, apparently 
Nuty before whom, as a triad, the queen of Barneses the Great 
holds two sistra. She has a human head, with the usual body of 
a monster standing erect on its hind-legs ; and I have met with 
the same deity with a hvmanfigwe and head of a hippopotamus, 
on a tablet, where she is the first person of a triad made up of 
Eileithyia and Athor. She sometimes appears to be connected 
with the idea of parturition, or gestation — ^which may account 
for her being introduced with the Egyptian Lucina. Her figure 
in the hieroglyphic legends of Isis^ and Nut^ appears to refer 
to her capacity of protectress of mothers. I haye also found an 
instance of this goddess with the name Isis over her, in an astro- 
nomical subject on a mummy-case now in the British Museum. 

The hippopotamus and tiie crocodile were emblems of Typho, 
except, perhaps, in those towns where they happened to be 
worshipped : as at Papremis, the city of Mars, which held the 
former among the animals dedicated to its protecting deity ; and 
at Ombos, and other places, where the crocodile was sacred. ^ At 
Heimopolis,' says Plutarch," * there is shown a statue of Typho, 
which is a hippopotamus with a hawk upon its back fighting 
with a serpent. By the hippopotamus is meant Typho ; and by 
the hawk, the power he frequently assumes by violence, and then 
employs to his own annoyance and to the prejudice of others. So, 
again, the cakes they offer on the 7th day of Tybi, to celebrate 
the return of Isis from Phoenicia, hare the impression of a hippo- 
potamus, bound, stamped upon them. The solemn hunt of the 
crocodile in the city of Apollo, when every one is obliged 
to eat of its flesh, is in like manner established to show their 
aUiorrenoe of Typho, whose emblem it is. The same feeling is 
the origin of their hatred of the ass.' 

The connection of Typho and Mars, of both of whom the 
Uppopotamus was said to be an emblem, is singular ; and there 
^n^ears to be a great analogy between Hercules and other of 
the reputed Typhonian figures. 

In the buildings called by some Typhonia, and in many 
rf the mysterious subjects above alluded to, she is accompanied 
hy another figure of hideous shape, which has also been con- 
ndeied Typhonian. This monster forms the ornamental part 
o( the capitals of the columns around the Mammeisi Temples, 
fcnaetly called Typhonia, as at Denderah and other places. 

* ^UU XXVL, binog. 8. « PkU XXIV^ bitrog. 2. » Pint, de Isid. s. 50. 

L 2 




The name of Typhonium has been improperlj applied to these 
monaments, since thej were not conBecrated to Typho, bnt are 
rather connected with the mysterious rites of Harpocrates and 
other iniJEUit deities, relating to their birth, or generally to the 
principle of regeneration. The ingenious Champollion has as- 
signed to them the appellation of MammeiBi, the ' lying-in 
places,' where the third member of the triad, worshipped in the 
adjoining temple, was bom, and nursed by the deitiee who were 
supposed to perform that office in Egyptian mythology. 

[The next deity to consider is the god Bes, a god not of 
Egyptian origin, but coming from Arabia, 
and Bubseqnently identified with Set. 
Like the Fataikos or Ftah, he has the 
appearance of deformity, but is an unborn 
child of Hercolean proportions of limbs, 
covered with the skin of a lion entirely 
concealing his face, and giring it a Gror- 
gonian appearance. — 8. B.] Hi a appear- 
ance is of a short deformed man, with a 
tail, a curly beard, and a head-dress of 
long feathers : but little is known of his 
oflice and attribntes, nor hare I been 
able to ascertain if he be the hnaband of 
Typho. The story of Nephthys being 
the wife of Typho, even if Typho were a 
god, is not authorised by the scuiptures ; 
and the origin of this notion is probably 
owing to Nephthys being placed in con- 
tradistisction to Isia, as the end to the 
beginning, and in the funeral rites being 
Vc uj. Ru. in an ofGee opposed to that of her sister. 

I have reason to believe that he re- 
presented ' Death,' in a bad sense, as the dissolution of the animal 
part of man, and the decay of all things, applied to animals as 
well as to mankind : and this will readily account for the presence 
of the peculiar demonstrstive sign — the hide of an animal with 
the tail attached to it — which always follows the legends 
denoting 'a beast.' He is also said 'to adore his lord' — alluding 
to the attitude in which he stands before Harpocrates, who in th^ 
character of renovation, or new life, might properly be adored b^ 
the god of death. He occurs, as already stated, on the coin 

of the Mammeisi of Denderah and other places ; and he presents- 

Cbap. xm.] BEa 149 

the same appearance in some of the temples of Southern Ethiopia. 
He is foand at the distant Kermesat, in Wady Kerbeean, beyond 
Wady Sen&t; and in the sculptures of the supposed hunting 
palace of Wady Ben&t, where he is represented armed with a 
shield and sword, slaying the captives he grasps in his hand.* 
Images of this deity are also found at Thebes and other places, 
armed in the same manner with the emblems of war, which may 
argae his being death in the sense of destruction ; and an in- 
stance occurs of his having the dress of a Soman soldier ;* which 

Kerns to connect him with the god of war, in the same sense 
the destooying power. In a papyrus of M. R^urens, he ap- 
pnachea near to the figure of Hercules, whom I shall presently 
I»Te occasion to notice ; and we might even suppose him to be 
^ deity of strength. 

' ^«Ua tbo* wullka tj^ti, ha ii mcd 
■ »«« tMn nood pUriDS on th» tri- 
r»« tiiBcilu lyt«, or on tha Umbour- 
■^•tWiaiiMdiM. cyDocephiliB wftt, 
***_™«' «i«!l». Ha li often found 

*"'™» ■ itiUnn-poU, on tha hudlaa 

of mirrora ud part* of haul-reata, aDiI )iia 
■ppamnca inggeato thai he had aril attri. 
batea.— S. B. 

* Woodcut No. 534. The ahrine he 
bean on hia head ii remarkable. But 
thla ti(ara b of Ute data — Ranuu period. 




If he represented Death, his frequent occuirence in company 
with the infant Honu m&j readily be explained by the con- 
nection supposed to BQbeist between death and reproduction ; 
and I have seen a statue which 
combines the attributes of both 
those godfi, under the form of a 
yoath with the lock of childhood 
descending horn his head, and the 
beard and nnseemly features of 
this aged monster. Sometimes, 
and indeed more generally, the 
head of the latter is placed over 
that of the youthful deity (as in 
the cippus, Plate XXXIII.), who, 
holding in one hand two snakes 
with a scorpion and capricom, in 
the other similar snakes with a lion 
and scorpion, stands upon two cro- 
codiles, and is surrounded by the 
emblems and figures of different 
gods. Though most of these are 
well known, I do not pretend to 
offer an explanation of the whole 
subject, which appears to bear an 
astrological as well as a mytho- 
logical sense.' The three principal 
figures — the crocodile, the yonng 
Horns, and the monster head — may signify darkness," the origin 
of aU things, existence or production, and death.* They may also 
explain an apparent resemblance between this deity and a repre- 
sentation of Ptah the Creative Power.* These groups are, I believe, 
of late date — of Ptolemaic or Roman time ; and it is generally 
obserrable that similarly complicated subjects are of aperiod when 
the religion of Egypt was overgrown with fanciful speculation, 
which the simplicity of earlier sculptures had not adopted. 

' HicroblDt, Siituni. i. 26. Clement mystical 
(Strom. T.) uf s, ■ Ths Egjptiuu (ometimei th< god, 
raprsMDt tbe «ud Id a bout, *o 
i:rocodile.' ' Horapollo, i 

* Theu e<ppl (one of which 
pag« 153) an all of a lata period, and U giTeu bj Hi 
ta* covered with reprtMntationt of the 'Zeitsch. f. Hgypt. Spi., 
principal daitta of the Egyptian Pantbron — S. B. 
in adoration or praacot «rith Uonu. The 

iption, atatiDg Horat to b« 

, . agod, ahMp, aonof aahatpt 

ieding Trom Oeirii, and that he i> the 

old one who becomn fousg, and the dinc- 

:n>cDdilai to abut their monthly 

i, PPL 9»-136. 


• WoodonU No. S3e and So. 49S. 



Hay this deity have been Besa, whose oracle is placed by 
andent writers in the vicinity of Abydna or of Antinoe ?' His 
name in some of the hieroglyphic legends resembles that of the 
unknown Besa; and if his character appears little likely to 
jngtify the notion of his possessing an oracle, it will cease to 
present an objection, when we recollect that in Greece even 
the monster Geryon, alain by Hercules, was deemed worthy of 

r hononr. Professor Benvens ' gives an invocation to 
Tjphon Seth, 'who destroys and renders desert, and is but- 
Buned "he who agitates, and is invineible;"' which seems to 
nit the character of this destroying deity, and to acconnt for his 
ptBOmed connection with Typho. The fact of his being thus 
ioToked corresponds with his amhignons title and appearance ; 
Ud the learned Professor's* opinion, that he was derived ftom 
hah or from Chnoomis, is snfGciently plausible. But I should 
odnde the name of Chnoumis, and for Ptah should substitute 

» pImm tUi Abrdu at Aboo Huiaca (■ Chriitlu rill^a) to th« S. of A 
% Utt» i p. 89. » Littra Ui. pp. 78, 7B. 



[GhaF. TtTTT 

ttiat of the pigmy Ptali-Socliaria-Osiria, to which I hare already 
alluded. This also calls to mind the connection between the 
operation of the Creator and of the Destroying Power. 

Having mentioned the bad principle, and shown the dis- 
tinction between Typho and the son of Nat, it may not be out 
of place to introduce another character of the Evil Being ; in 
which we cannot fail to recognise the serpent the enemy of 
mankind, and from which the Pytho of G-reek mythology was 
evidently derived. Aphftphis, or Ap6p, which in Egyptian 
Bignifies a giant, was the name given to the serpent of which 
Horns is represented as the destroyer. From this, the Greeks 
borrowed the story of Apollo's destruction of the serpent Pytho v 
as from the name AphSphis, the wars between the giants, or* 

Titans, and the gods. 'For,* as Plutarch observes,* 'those 
wars, which are so much spoken of by the Qreeks, the detestable 
actions of Saturn, and the combats between Apollo and Pytho^ 
the Sights of Bacchus, and the wanderings of Oeres, are of th* 
same nature as the adventures of Osiris and Typbo.' In to- 
other place,' he speaks of * Apopis as a prince, who was brother 
to the sun, and made war upon Jupiter, by whom he was de- 
feated through the assistance of Osiris,' which tends to the same 
point; and it is remarkable that the combat of the gods and 
giants occurs under various forms in many religions. 

The destruction of the serpent by Horus, who, standing in 
a boat, pierces his head with a spear, as he rises above the water, 
frequently occurs in the sculptures ; and whether it has the body 

■ Pint. d« Iild. (. 25. * lUd. •. 38. 

154 THE ANCIENT SaiPTIANa [Chap. Xm. 

of a snake with the head of a man, or assumes the entire human 
form, it appears to be the same monster. The representation of 
Typhoy mentioned by Plutarch^ at HermopoliSy evidently refers 
to this conflict of Horus and Aphdphis. 

I will not decide whether the serpent Aphdphis has any 
relation to * the snake which, when ThoueriSy the concubine of 
Typho, deserted to Horus, was killed by his soldiers' as it 
pursued her; 'an event/ says Plutarch/ 'still commemorated 
by the ceremony of throwing a rope into the midst of their 
assemblies, and then chopping it in pieces/ 

Nephthys, the sister of Isis, and youngest daughter of Nut, 
was supposed by the Greeks to have been the wife of Typho; 
but, as I have already observed, this notion probably arose from 
her being placed in opposition to Isis, particularly in funeral 
subjects, where Isis stands at the head and Nephthys at the feet 
of the deceased. She represented the end, as Isis the beginning, 
of all things ; but she was not opposed to her sister in a bad 
sense, as Typho to Osiris. In the regions of Amenti, a triad 
was composed of Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys; and another con- 
sisted of Isis, Nephthys, and Harpocrates. 

In the fabulous history of Osiris,^ she may have been con- 
sidered as the sea-shore, and the confines of Egypt, from being 
opposed to Isis, who was that part of the land irrigated by the 
inundation of the Nile ; without the idea of her possessing the 
injurious nature which was attached to Typho. Even in this 
character her inferiority might be of a negative kind, not that 
of a positive agent of evil, being merely the representative of a 
barren soil, whose unproductiveness was owing to its not having 
received the fertilising influence of the inundation. Like Isis in 
her mysterious character, Nephthys was principally employed in 
offices connected with the dead ; and she is represented assisting 
her sister to perform the last rites to Osiris, when he quitted the 
earth to assume his duties in Amenti as judge of the dead. She 
is therefore appropriately styled 'rectrix of the lower regions.* 
Her name, written Neb-thy, or Neb-tei, signifying ' the lady of 
the abode/ consists of a bowl or basket, called neb, placed upon 
a house, answering to ei or tei. These she wears upon her head ; 
as Isis has the throne, her hieroglyphic emblem. 

She is frequently styled the sister-goddess, referring to her 
relationship to Isis and Osiris ; and I have met with an instance 

> Plat, de Isid. f. 19. ' Ibid. s. 38. 



[Chap, XnL 

of her being called 'Nepiithys, the Bavioor Bistw-goddeaa, 
Andoka.' This cotmeots her with Anonkis the Egyptian Testa, 
and accords with the Greek notion of Vesta being the daughter 
of Satnm and Bhea, who answered to the Seb and Nut of the 
Egyptian Pantheon. In another hieroglyphic inscription oyer a 
door at Dakkeh, the Ethiopian king Ergamen is said to be ' a 
son of Osiris, bom of Isis, and nursed by Nephthys;' and the 
two triads of which she was a member frequently occur in the 

1,1. ■ Ncphlhja 0>t, tlatpr-goddm AIKnkl^ diggbter ot tbe nin, nielli of Uu Uiid.' 

3. ' Kfpblliy>, OHt ilalcr-gaddna Mi oi Tmlti.' 

4. 'Ntpblbj*, Ud^ ofbHTen. rcgenl of the tHocoDDtrlH.' 

Egyptian tombs. She is sometimes called.' a daughter of tl" 
sun,' though Plutarch' supposes her begotten by Saturn; &xa 
the same author gives to her the names of Teleute, or the evx- 
Aphrodite, and Nik6. He considers her,* in one of her cl» - 
racters, ' the loner and invisible, as Isis was the upper »^ 
visible, parts of the world ; ' and he says,' that ' the t 
having the face of Isis on one side and of Kephthys on ' 

> Plat, it Isid. *. 12. • IbU. (.44. 'Ibid. 1. S3. 

Chap. XUL] 



other, symbolically represents generation and corruption.' This 
idea, like that previously expressed respecting the contradistinc- 
tion of Isis and her sister, did not convey the impression of a 
malevolent deity; corruption or the termination of life not 
being looked upon as annihilation, as I have already had occa- 
sion to observe. All persons, therefore, who died, were thought 
to pass, through the influence of Nephthys, into a future state ; 
and the presence of Nut on the coffins of the dead also pur- 
ported that, being bom again and assuming the title of Osiris, 
each individual had become the son of Nut, even as the great 
Buler of Amenti, to whose name he was entitled when admitted 
to the mansions of the blessed. But though Nephthys was the 
* End,' she was distinct from ' Death,' whom I have mentioned 
as a separate deity. I have once met with an instance of 
Nephthys with the adjunct Sothis, connecting her with the dog- 
star. This is perhaps an assumption of the attributes of her 
sister, or may refer to that star at the end instead of the begiiP' 
ning of the year, from which its heliacal rising was usually 
calculated : but, being of rare occurrence, it is not important, 
nor does it suffice to connect the dog-star with the sister of Isis. 
According to Hesychius, * the Egyptians worshipped a goddess, 
called by the Greeks Aphrodite skoitay ** the dark or nocturnal 
^enus," ' whom Priohard supposes to be Nephthys ; * but this 
lather applies to the Egyptian Athor. 

The jackal-headed god was one of the principal deities of 
AmentL He was *son of Osiris,' not by Nephthys, as Greek 
^ters state, but, according to the positive authority of the 
hieroglyphics, * by Isis,' as is shown in a legend given by Salt, 
from a mummy-case in his possession, where * Anubis ' ^ is called 
*the son of Isis.' This suffices to disprove the opinion of 
-Plutarch* respecting Nephthys; though the same author 
^ows that ' Isis was also reputed his mother, though bom of 
Nephthys.** Another notion, which assigns to Anubis the 

' Pridiaid, p. 146. 

' Aanbit was the god of embalming, and 
ioch ia represented as the divine em- 
of hit father Osiris. At the earliest 
Um stpulchral dedications at Mem- 
it were addressed to him, and not Osiris ; 
' his titles are ' president of embalming ' 
* chief of the mountain,' referring to 
wcstcni hills where the dead were de- 
*^ He was also guide of the roads of 
^^ north sad sonth, and opener of those 
^^tiieh ltd to Bnsat, the gatewaj of Hades. 

In connection with the legend of Osiris, he 
is called conqueror of the enemies of his 
father. (Pierret, * Diet.,' p. 50.) At a later 
period an Anubeum or temple of Anubis 
is found attached to the Serapeum at 
Memphis, which was kept by Pastophori, 
priests who had charge of the libations. 
Under the Roman Empire he formed one of 
the personages of the universallj dissemi- 
nated Isiac worship. (Rhon^ * L'£g^te,' 
p. 256.)— S. B. 
' Plat, de Isid. ss. 14, 38. * Ibid. b. 44. 

. Xm.] AKUBIS. 159 

of a dog instead oi a jackal, is one of the greatest and most 
BpeDerally accredited errors which the ignorance of the Greeks 
laiid Romans has set forth respecting the gods of Egypt ; and 
Brrerj writer, whether in poetry or prose, who has mentioned this 
deity, has described him with the head of a dog. Even altars 
erected to him nnder this form by his yotaries at Bome ; 
so unirersal was the belief in the canine character of the 
is,^ that the fabulons history of Osiris was perverted 
<»der to accord with this established notion. The unques- 
^aanable authority, howerer, of the Egyptian sculptures, has 
Corrected this misconception, and we there find that he was not 
osdj represented with the head of a jackal, but also under the 
of the entire animal. And lest scepticism and the force of 
opinion should still retain a doubt, or suppose this 
to be intended for a peculiar species of dog, it may not 
^ irrelerant to remark, that the same jackal is introduced at 
fiflu-Hassan with the wolf and other unld animals of Egypt, 
^ad that the dogs are nerer figured in the paintings of a form 
^Aich ooold justify a similar conclusion. According to the ex- 
plinition giren by Plutarch ' of the history of Osiris from the 
fknomena of the heaTons, Anubis was supposed, in one of his 
chtucters, * to represent the horizontal circle which divides the 
isfiiible part of the world, called by the Egyptians Nephthys, 
6oB the visible, which they term Isis. In short, Anubis seems 
to be of the same power and nature as the Grecian Hecate, a deity 
ttmon both to the celestial and infernal regions.' This last, 
kosever, I have shown to apply to Isis rather than to Anubis. 
'(Mms,* he adds, 'are of opinion, that by Anubis is meant Time^ 
sUch begets all things out of itself; but this is one of the 
Met doctrines known only to those who are initiated into his 
vvriiip. • • • • The universal reason, moreover, is called by 
An Anabis, and sometimes Hermanubis; the first of these 
mes expressing the relation it has to the superior, as the latter 
to the 'udetUxt world*' The oflBce of Anubis was to superintend 
Ae passage of the souls from this life to a future state, in which 
ks inswered to the Mercury of the Greeks in his capacity of 
I^jchopompos, or * usher of souls.*^ He presided over tombs, 
ad at the final judgment he weighed the good actions of the 
in the scales of truth, and was thence styled * director 

> ffvpOTi. UK. iU. EUf . iL 41. * riot, dt Uid. s. 61. 

• rtas. 4* liU. a. U. * Bom. OdjM. !▲', 1, aad Hor. OO. i. is, 17. 

160 THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS. [Chap. tttt . 

of ttie weight.' He is frequently introduced on coffins, standing 
over a bier on which a corpse is deposited. [He appears, too, 

So. Ml. JkIuI ot AddUi praMeUng > dtoeavd fotaa. 

in the vignette of the eighty-ninth chapter of the Bitual, laying 
ont the body on its sepulchral bier, which the soul revisits in tiie 
shape of the human-headed hawk, and in the preceding plate' it 
is seen holding life in one hand, and a sail, the emblem of breath, 
in the other.^S. B.] 

Aonbis may be considered to answer to death, in a good 
sense, as the departure of the soul from the body, on its way to 
a better state, and applied only to mankind ; death in another 
sense, as the decease of the animal portion of man, being figured 
by the Egyptians under a different form, as I have already 
shown. It is probably from this his character, that Plutarch 
was led to the notion of Anubis being Time, the Tempua edax 

Apuleius ' calls Anubie ' the interpreter of gods of heaven 
and of Hades, sometimes with a black, at others with a golden 
face, . . . holding in his left hand a caduceus, and in his right 
shaking a palm-branch.' But in this description we discover the 
union of Anubis and Thoth, both of whom bear analogy and cor- 
respond to the Mercury of Greece. The ofBce of interpreter in 
heaven and in Hades applies to Thoth. Anubis and Thoth were 
both deities of Hades, and the former had sometimes a blacki 
sometimes a golden face ; but the palm-branch belonged to 
Thoth, and the caduceus to neither of them. And if Greek and 

> PUU XXXV., hierog. 3. ' Apol. Ustam. 11. 

Cktf. XnL] ANUBia 161 

AoBiB bis-reliefr give to Anubia a character according with the 

description of ApuleinSy they are at direct yarianee with the 

tcolptnresy and show that they are not taken from Egyptian 

aotliority of an ancient date, I have once met with an instance 

of Annbis with the head of a ram in lien of that of the jackal ; on 

vbich occasion he had assumed the attributes of Chnoumis. 

Diodoms^ relates that Anubis accompanied Osiris in his 

Eastern expedition, together with Pan and Macedo, who were his 

generals. Mercury held the office of counsellor to the Queen 

Ina, flercules was viceroy during his absence, Busiris governor 

of the provinces on the sea-coast towards Phoenicia, and Antaeus 

of these bordering on Ethiopia and Libya. Anubis and Macedo, 

•ooording to Diodorus, were sons of Osiris ; and the latter is 

dcKribed by him dressed in the skin of a wolf, as Anubis in that 

of a dog. Of Macedo I have been unable to ascertain anything 

bom the sculptures ; though it is possible that he may also have 

tlie form of a jackal-headed deity similar to Anubis, with the 

koQi and other devices as his hieroglyphic; and it is not 

iapoinble that these horns may in some way refer to the idea 

of punishment which Horapollo' tells us was denoted by a cow's 

^onu It is also remarkable that this deity is styled the * Lord 

of Lycopolis,* 8io6ut. 

[It will be as well here to introduce the account of the de« 
itnetion of mankind by the gods, although it forms part of an 
Mriisr myth than that of Osiris, and strictly belongs to the solar 
■ytfii. According to the legend, the god Ba tells Nu to 
a certain number of his companions, and the sun-god 
mankind of speaking against him, and demands counsel 
rf the gods. The god Nu refers the question back to Ba. The 
nnlt is, that Tefnu proceeds to slaughter the human race, and 
Sekhel the avenging goddess makes the blood of mankind flow to 
Hencleopolis. Ba then orders that fruit should be sought to 
•ike a drink, and seven thousand jugs are filled with the liquid, 
vUeh rejoices the god. At night water was put in the vastus, and 
ths flelds inundated. Subsequently Ba, tired of mankind, and 
uble to proceed, makes Nu call Shu and Nut to his assistance, 
9mi the god is carried by Nut, or the celestial waters, into the 
nctuary of the mystical cow, either Neith or Athor. Un- 
neeessful in his attempt to destroy mankind, the god deiMirts to 
Wavm, and creates there the Aah-lu or Elysium, and the people 

* Diodor. i. 17. • Uorapollo, Hierog. ii. 1 

TOL. ni. 


of the stars, and Shti and Nut are placed over them as protectors. 
Ba then tells Thoth to call the god Seb into his presence, and 
confides reptiles to his care, while Hades is placed under the 
charge of Thoth and the Ibis, the Cjmocephalus ape, and the two 
storks of Thoth, and the wings of the same birds are produced. 
This remarkable myth, apparently derived from an ancient Bitnal, 
forms part of the mystical cosmogony, portions of which are 
found in the Bitual of the Saite period.^ — S. B.] 

Having now mentioned the different members of the fEunily 
of Seb and Nut, who are Osiris, Aroeris, the Evil Being, Isis, and 
Nephthys, with their children Horus, Harpocrates, Anubis, and 
Macedo, and in connection with them Typho and the serpent 
Aphophis, I proceed to notice the remaining deities of the 
Pantheon, which will form a second part of this chapter. I shall 
not stop to inquire respecting their rank or right to priority ; 
nor shaJl I distinguish between those of the second and third 
order, the former of whom are limited by Herodotus to the 
number of twelve. And if any preference is shown in their 
arrangement, it is solely in consequence of their being of mate 
frequent occurrence, or represented on older monuments* The 
monuments indeed afford no proof of this arrangement; and the 
number of genii or inferior deities suggests that those excluded 
from the second rank were not all comprehended in the aame 
class of tertiary gods. 

It might even be difficult to fix upon the twelve of the second 
order. The most important are doubtless Ba the sun, Atum, 
Thoth the moon, Eileithyia, Shu, Ma, Athor, Thriphis, Amenta or 
Tamen, Mentu, Seb, Nut, Tefnu, Bannu, Sfe^: but of these 
fifteen, Shu, Ma, and Tefnu are born of Ba, and should therefore 
be of the third order ; and Seb and Nut only seem to claim a 
rank in the same class with Ba, Atimi, and the others, from being 
the parents of Isis and Osiris. I should perhaps have placed 
Atum before Thoth, from the rank he holds on the monuments 
of Thebes as well as of Lower Egypt ; but the duties of Thoth 
bringing him into frequent communication with Osiris, and his 
character of the moon connecting him with Ba the sun, may 
serve to claim for him prior notice. 

Thoth,^ the god of letters, had various characters,' acooi 

^ M. Naville, ' La Destruction des Hommes — S. B. 
par lea Dieux/ in the Trans, of the Soc. Bibl. ' It is remarkable that tht Ganli caUtd 

Archcol. 1875, vol. iv. pp. 1-19. their Mercury Theutates. 

' His correct Egyptian name was Tahuti. 


to the ftinctions he was supposed to fulfiL In his ofiSce of scribe 
in the lower regions, he was engaged in noting down the actions 
of the dead ; and in presenting or reading them to Osiris, the 
jndge of Amenti : ^ the dead being judged out of those things 
which were written in the books, according to their works.' He 
also overlooked and registered the actions and life of man while 
on earth ; holding then, instead of his tablet, a palm-branch, em- 
blematic of a year, to which were attached the symbol of life and 
a firog.^ Thoth was the * frst Hermes * mentioned by Manetho ; 
the same who was reputed to have been the preceptor of Isis, and 
the Hermes of Plutarch,' whom an idle fiftble represented with 
one arm shorter than the other.^ Plato, in his 'Phiedrus,'^ makes 
Socrates relate the following fable of this deity : — *I haye heard 
that about Naucratis, in Egypt, there was one of their ancient 
gods, to whom a bird was sacred, which they call Ibis ; but the 
name of the daemon '^ himself was Theuth. According to tradi- 
tion, this god first discovered numbers and the art of reckoning, 
geometry and astronomy, the games of chess and hazard, and 
likewise letters. Thamus was at the time king of all the 
country, and resided in that great city of Upper Egypt which 
the Greeks call Egyptian Thebes': the god himself being 
denominated Ammon. Thoth, therefore, going to Thamus, 
showed him his arts, and told him that he ought to distribute 
them amongst the other Egyptians. Thamus asked him con- 
cerning the utility of each ; and when they had been explained 
to him, he approved what appeared reasonable, and blamed that 
which had a contrary aspect. After Theuth had fully unfolded 
to Thamus many particulars respecting each art, he proceeded to 
discourse upon letters. ** These, king," said he, ** will render 
the Egyptians wiser, and increase their powers of memory : for 
this invention may be regarded as the medicine of memory and 
wisdom." "O most learned Theuth," replied Thamus, **one 
person is inore adapted to artificial operations, and another to 
judge of the detriment or advantage arising from their use. 
Thus it happens that you who are the father of letters, through 
the benevolence of your disposition have a£Srmed just the con- 
trary of what letters are able to effect : for these, causing the 
memory to be neglected, will produce oblivion to the mind of 
the learner; because men, trusting to the external marks of 

* These emblemi are mentioned by UorapoUo. * Phadr., TajU transl., p. 864. 

* Plut. de hid. s. 19. ' Ibid. s. 22. * Aalfimp, in a good sense. 

Our. xra.] THOTH. 165 

writing, will not exercise the internal powers of recollection. So 
tkat T(»n have not discovered the medicine of memory, but of 
admonition. Yon will likewise deliver to your disciples an 
opinion of wis<lom, and not truth." ' Psellus confounds Thoth 
vitk Hermes Trismegistus, whom he makes posterior to Moses, and 
iaiginea to be the Argeiphontes of the Greeks. But he applies 
to Trismegistus the characteristics of Mercury, instead of to 
Thoth. This Argeiphontes Macrobius supposes to be the sun, at 
vhoie rising the kundre<l eyes of Argus, or the light of the fixed 
itii% were put out. The first month of the Egyptian year, says 
the lonner writer, was called after Thoth, as also the city of 
Hcnnopolis ; where, as we learn from the sculptures of the portico, 
the cynocepbalus shared with this deity, of whom he was the 
tjpe, the honours of the temple. The few columns which 
Miined of the portico at Oshmoonein, or Hermopolis Magna, 
*ae thrown donn in 1822 by the Turks, and burnt for lime ; 
Miering the same fate as the ruins at Antinoopolis, and other 
iiacitoQe relics : and though strictly forbidden by Mehemet Ali, 
feiaj sandftone monuments have been since used as convenient 
fivries for the construction of modem buihlings. 

To retaro to Thoth. The cynocepbalus is synonymous with 
the hieroglyphic of letters ; and we even find it holding the 
tahiet, and fulfilling the oflBce of Thoth ; which shows that it was 
lol only the emblem, but also the representative of that deity. 
bBhliehos says that certain physical properties were common to 
kind to the moon ; and, according to Hora{X)llo, the latter was 
icpnwnted in hieroglyphic writing by a cynocepbalus. This 
Mement is perfectly borne out by the sculptures, Thoth and 
the ape, bis emblem, being both introduced in the character of 
the maosiL Indeed, the crescent is found followed by the figure 
rf Thoth in several hieroglyphic legends, with the phonetic 
me Aah or loh, signifying the * moon/ This last word occurs 
ii Plate XXXVI., accompanied by the ibis, the sacred bird 
rf Thoth; and Plutarch^ states that 'Mercury was supposed to 
JWnmpany the moon round the world, as Hercules did the sun.' 
Iholh, therefore, in one of his characters, answers to the moon, 
ind in another to Meroury. The Egyptians represented their 
teoa as a male deity, like the German Mond and Monat^ or the 
Unns of the Latins ; and it is worthy of remark, that the same 
of calling it male is retained in the East to the present 

> Plat, de Uid. 1. 41. 


day, while the sun is considered female^ as in the language of 
the Gennans. 

Thoth is usually represented as a human figure with the 
head of an ibis, holding a tablet and a pen, or a palm-branch, in 
his hands; and in his character of Lunus he has sometimes a 
man's face with the crescent of the moon upon his head, support- 
ing a disk, occasionally with the addition of an ostrich-feather ; 
which last appears to connect him with Shu or with Ma. Plutarch 
says the Egyptians * call the moon the " mother of the world," 
and hold it to be of both sexes ; — ^female, as it receives the 
influence of the sun ; male, as it scatters and disperses through 
the air the principles of fecundity.' ^ He also supposes ^ Osiris to 
be the power and influence of the moon, and Isis the generative 
faculty which resides in it.'^ But this is evidently at variance 
with the authority of the sculptures, which fully establish the 
claims of Thoth, and disprove any connection between Isis and 
the moon. Nor is there any authority for the opinion of Spar- 
tianus,^ who says that, although the (Greeks or) Egyptians call 
the moon a goddess, they really consider it in a mystical sense a 
god, both male and female. 

* The sun and moon,' observes Plutarch, ' were described by 
the Egyptians as sailing round the world in boats, intimating 
that these bodies owe their power of moving, as well as their 
support and nourishment, to the principle of humidity ;'^ which 
statement is confirmed by the sculptures : and some have thought 
that a species of scarabaBus was sacred to Thoth or the moon.^ 

The ibis-headed deity was called * Lord of the Eighth Begion,' 
the name of the city where he was particularly worshipped, which 
is now called Oshmoonein, the Shmon® of the Copts. There is, 
indeed, an evident connection between his title, 'Lord of the 
Eighth Begion,' and Oshmoonein, the modern name of Hermopolis, 
which, derived from Shmen or Shmon, signifying eiffht, implies 
the ' two eights ;' and if some have been disposed to think it 
refers to the eight books of law which Menes ^ pretended to have 
received from the Egyptian Mercury, the demonstrative sign of 
'land,' following this group, sufficiently refutes this opinion- 
His title 'twice-great' frequently occurs on the monuments^ 
as in the inscription of the Bosetta Stone, where the Greek styl 
him ' the great and great,' or twice-great. 

» Plut. de hid. s. 43. * Pint, de Isid. g. 84. » Horap., i. 1< 

* Ibid. 88. 43, 52. • cUXILOnfi.* 

' Spartian. Vit. Antonini Caracall. cap. ^ 

Tii., quoted by Jablonaki, i. cap. iu. 6. ' IHodor. i. 94. He calls the king MneT-i 

CteAP. Xm.] THOTH. 167 

The ibis was particularly sacred to him, and standing on a 
peich, followed by a half-circle and two lines/ indicated the 
name of the god. It was thought to bear some relation to the 
moon, * fix)m its feathers being so mixed and blended together, 
&e black with the white, as to form a representation of the 
moon's gibbosity.' ^ ^ The space between its legs while walking 
was observed to form an equilateral triangle ;' and ' the medicinal 
use it makes of its beak ' was thought to be connected with the 
ofiSoe of Thoth, who taught mankind the art of curing diseases, 
and communicated all intellectual gifts from the deity to man. 
Such was the respect paid to this bird, fix)m its destroying the 
Tenomous reptiles which infested the country, that any person 
killing one was punished with instant death f and * those priests 
who were most punctual in the performance of their sacred rites, 
fetched the water they used in their purifications from some 
place where the ibis had been seen to drink.' ^ 

According to Plutarch,* a sow was sacrificed ' to Typho once 
a year at the full moon :' and the animal is sometimes represented 
in a boat, in the paintings of the tombs, accompanied by one or 
more monkeys. This appears to connect it with Thoth, or the 
god Lunus ; and if, as I suppose, the subject refers to the com- 
mencement of a new period, being the beginning of the future 
state of a soul condemned for its sins to migrate into the body 
of a pig, the relation it bears to the office of Thoth is readily 
looounted for. The impression that the animal was offered to 
Typho may proceed from its having been chosen as an emblem 
of nn. J^AxBJi says, * They sacrifice a sow to the moon once a 
year ;' which statement is confirmed by Herodotus, who asserts 
thit * the only deities to whom the Egyptians are permitted to 
offer the pig are the moon and Bacchus.' But he makes no 
ntention of Typho, and the supposed * discovery of the body of 
OiiriB by Typho, while hunting a wild boar at the full moon,' * 
voold rather lead them to offer it to Osiris than to Typho : for, 
tt Plutarch himself confesses, * the opinion of the Egyptians was 
^ eacrifices ought not to be of things in themselves agreeable 
to the gods, but, on the contrary, of creatures into which the souls 
of the wicked have passed ;'' and the pig was an emblem of Evil. 

^Tl» lialf-ciTcle hi^ the force of T, » Diodor. i. 83. Cic. Tugc Qua»t t. 27. 

vUck WM donbWd bj these lines, reading The same motive indaced the Thessalians 

J? Taut. {The correct form is Ta-huti to protect the stork. (Plin. x. 23.) 

• JS***— S. B.] * Plut. de Isid. 8. 75. » Ibid. s. 8. 

Plot, de Isld. i. 75. • Ibid. s. 18. ' Ibid s. 31. 


I have observed that Thoth, in one of his characters, cor- 
responded to the moon, in the other to Mercury. In the former 
he was the beneficent property of that luminary, the regulator 
and dispenser of time, who presided over the fate of man, and 
the events of his life : in the latter, the god of letters and the 
patron of learning, and the means of communication between 
the gods and mankind. It was through him that all mental 
gifts were imparted to man. He was, in short, a deification of 
the abstract idea of the intellect, or a personification of the 
intellect of the deity. This accords well with a remark of 
lamblichus, that Hermes was the god of all celestial knowledge, 
which, being communicated by him to the priests, authorised 
them to inscribe their own commentaries with the name of Hermes. 
He may also be considered analogous to the * septenary intel- 
lectual agents ' of modem philosophers. * These are called by 
Hesiod guardians of mankind, bestowers of wealth, and royal 
daemons; are described by Plato as a middle order of beings 
between the gods and men, ministering to their wants, carrying 
the prayers of mortals to heaven, and bringing down in return 
oracles and all other blessings of life.'^ 

According to the fabulous account of the Egyptian Mercury, 
* he was reported to have invented letters,' regulated the language, 
given names to many things, and taught men the proper mode 
of approaching the deity with prayers and sacrifice. He in- 
structed them in the system of the stars, and the harmony and 
nature of voices. He was the inventor of the folmdra^ and of 
the lyre, to which he gave three strings, in accordance with the 
three seasons of the Egyptian year ; the treble to correspond to 
summer, the bass to winter, the tenor to spring. He was the 
patron of elocution, whence called Hermes, " the interpreter,** by 
the Greeks. In the sacred rites of Osiris he was represented as 
the scribe of the deity, and his counsellor ; and it was to him 
that the Egyptians supposed mankind indebted for the olive, 
and not to Minerva, as is the opinion of the Greeks.*' He was 
distinct from the Mercury who ushered the souls of the dead 
into the region of Hades, answering to the Anubis of Egypt, 
as already stated ; and also firom Hermes Trismegistus, whom 
I shall have occasion to mention presently. 

The circumstance of the god Lunus being the dispenser oi 
time, and represented noting off years upon the palm-branchj 

» Plot, de laid. 8. 26. « Plato, Phileb. p. 374. » Diodor. L 16. 

QiAP. xm.] THOTH. 169 

ippetn to argue that the Egyptians, in former times, calculated 

bj lunar instead of solar years ; and the hieroglyphic of a month, 

which is a lunar crescent, shows their months to have been 

originally regulated by the course of the moon. I have once 

with the figure of an ibis-headed deity as a female/ but I 

nnoertain respecting the character and office of that goddess, 

is it certain that the name of Thoth was applied to her. 

I*liolh at the temple of Samneh appears to be styled the son of 

dmoumis. According to Cicero,^ the Greeks reckoned in their 

lythology five Mercuries: ^One, the son of Heaven and the 

Another, of Yalens and Phoronis, the same who is beneath 

earth, and called Trophonius. A third, the son of Jupiter 

Maia, and who is said to have begotten Pan by Penelope. 

^ (borth, the son of the Nile, whom the Egyptians consider 

It unlawful to name. A fifth, worshipped by the Pheneatae, who 

M aaid to have slain Argus, and on that account to have fled to 

Egypt, and to have given laws and letters to the Egyptians. He 

Vis styled by them Thoyth, and bore the same name as the first 

^ODth of their year.' Of the last two the former was probably 

A&abis, whom, in his mysterious office connected with Osiris and 

tk final judgment of the dead, it may have been unlawful to men- 

^f and the latter, the ibis-headed deity Thoth, in his character 

^ the dispenser of intellectual gifts to man, and the god of letters. 

The epithet Trismegistus, 'thrice-great,* has been applied by 

to Thoth; but the deity here represented is shown by 

Greek inscriptions upon his temple at Pselcis to have 

Wn distinguished from the god of letters by this name, with 

tile additional title, * Lord of Pautnouphis.' Much confusion 

W arisen in consequence of these two deities having the name 

fiemet; many having ascribed to Trismegistus the honour of 

isfoiling letters, which in reality belongs to Thoth alone, as the 

^oanments of Egypt prove beyond the possibility of doubt The 

Vap le oi Pselcis,^ now Dakkeh, in Nubia, was erected by the 

FAiopian king Ergamen, a contemporary of Ptolemy Phila- 

Uphiit, and completed by the Lagid®, in honour of this Hermes. 

Oi the towers of the area, and in the portico, are numerous Greek 

' A fiwa peretUin figura fonnerly In Icgtitd firen in pL xt. of M. ChampolHott's 
tb fmmmUm of CbcTmlior Kottoer, for- Pantheon. 

•vff Hnaorvrian ninUUr it Koom. 

Otmm. d* NaU Dwr. ill. 22. T ^OU^ O 11 ^^^^^ rSj 

Or vvoa Tkotk, u tcribt of AntntL V ^"^l/j^^ M ■ CTI 

PWkii vai proUbly nlUd fitmi tbo '^^ I ■ OJ 

Salk, If wt Buj Jadgt from n •j^igaptoorttMUailoCIVik.* 




inaciiptioDB ; the general purport of which is that the wiitoiB 
came and ' adored the very great god Hermes,' (frequently with 
the title) ' Fautnouphis.' 

The name Fautnonphia probably refers to the town of which 
he was the presiding deity, since the name in hieroglyphica, 
Taut-n-pnoubs, or Taut-n-pa-noubs, is followed by the sign of 
land and the female sign; which last 
may perhaps be read as part of the 
name, making it Taut-n-pa-t-noubs. A 
tree also seems to be a demonstrative 
sign accompanying the name, as if it 
ended with 'the land of the bee.' ' 

The ibis was sacred to him as to 
Tboth, of whtnn, indeed, he may possibly 
be an emanation ; to its perch is at- 
tached an ostrich-feather, the emblem 
of Truth, which, like the head-dress oi 
four plumes he wears, b^ongs also to 
the god Shu. In his hand he &e- 
qnently bears a staff, sormounted by 
the head of a hawk, the emblem of Ba, 
with a snake twined round it, accom- 
panied by a scorpion, the symbol of the 
goddess Selk. From this the idea of 
the caducens of Mercury may have been 
derived, signifying, as some suppose, 
^prudence. In the opinion of many 
writers, as Eusebins, Fsellus, and others, 
' Hermes Trismegistus was a priest and 
^"^^u ..^j ^ ■>. ^ philosopher who lived a little after the 

1. "Thelli, of the Und of Penfte. or r » 

pnnp..' j.-'^ihotpmnhKHPniip^ time ot Moses, and taught his country- 
men mensuration, theology, medicine, 
and geography, upon which subjects he wrote forty-two books. 
According to others, he was a cotemporary of Osiris ; but this 
fable is contradicted by the fact of no Egyptian individual 
having been raised to the order of gods. It is possible that 
the works of some philosopher (perhaps of the same name, 
the Egyptians having the custom of forming the names of 

■ Thew legfndi nad Tavt oi Fnlbt, ud oppulti Tiuitia ind tb( 4th noDW tif 
' Thotbof the Und of Pn»l«.' the town of Kenoni or Nubi.. (RragKh, •Qmst. 
PdoqP*, placed bf Ptolcmj ia 22° N. Ut., Inichr.,' i. pp. 104-107 .>~-S. B. 

CMMf. Xin.] BOOKS OF HERlfES. 171 

iiidi?idiial8 from those of their gods) may hare been ascribed in 
after-times, through the ignorance of the Greeks, to a deity, who 
was in fact no other than the abstract quality of the understand- 
ing, the supposed cause of that success which the human mind 
obtained on the yarious subjects they ascribed to him.^ 

Their motive for separating this Hermes from Thoth it is 

difficult to ascertain. It was probably one of those subtle 

distinctions which philosophy had established, and religion had 

deified as a separate attribute of the divine wisdom, as modem 

inquiries hare shown the difference between the understanding 

and the reasoning faculty. 

* The principal books of this Hermes,' according to Clemens' of 
Alexandria, * forty-two in number, were treated by the Egyptians 
viththe most profound respect, and carried in their religious 
piooessions. First came the singer, .... holding two in his 
Wd, one containing hymns in honoor of the gods, the other 
ceitain rules for the conduct of the monarch. Next to him the 
Wffoioope, .... whose duty was to recite the four books of 
Mology, one of which treated of the fixed stars, another of 
ioitr and lunar eclipses, and the remaining two of the rising 
rf the sun and moon. Ten books contained those things which 
iriated to the gods and the religion of Egypt, as sacrifices, 
iiM-frnits, hymns, prayers, processions, holy days, and the like. 
Lilt of all came the prophet with ten other books, called 
aeeidotal, relating to ihe laws, the gods, and rules of the 
foeiUiood. Thus, then, of the forty-two most useful books of 
Hflmes, thirty-six contained all the philosophy of Egypt, and the 
hit six treated of medicine, anatomy, and the cure of diseases.'' 
[The next of the members of the Pantheon to be considered 
a the god Shu.] He bears on his head a single ostrich-plume, 
• a cluster of four feathers, and is always painted of a black or 
ink oolour. In the tomb of Bameses III., at Thebes, he is re- 
pMeuted seated on a throne, on either side of a small chamber, 
vksre it is possible that the king's minstrel was buried ; and 
Mbfe him two figures are playing the harp, as though he were 
the pation of music From Porphyry's description of Eneph, 

I *)p«» pu ISS. ftvch ooiuUdUj inroktd by tenbct and 

I Cbm. Aki. StRNB. lib. ri. pw 19S. wriUn, of wbom be wm tb« patron. Ut 

' TW mflh of Tbotb bai boon timmiaod aUo wm ib« god wbo prwidvd ortr all 
li iu dataiU bj Dr. E. FioUcbmana, litaraturo and tcioBCM, and tbo roroalcr of 

TriMMCUtua,' Sro. Uipiig, 1875. knowlodgt of different thinp to mankind ; 
TbiU WM lord of tbo arU and Kianoia of and all roToalvd or inspired writings wtro 

vmag diviM waids or kkroglypbt|.nBd m oallad UanDtUc, and tappotod to ba wriUam 



[c^AT. xm. 

which Tepresents him of a black colour, and wearing a single 
feather on his head, Shu has been confounded with the ram- 
headed deity ; but this has been already noticed. 

The ingenious and mnoh-regretted GfasmpoUion supposed 
him to be tho Egyptian Hercules. As Hercules, the title ' son of 
the sun,' which he always has in the hieroglyphics, would accord 
perfectly with his char 
racier : for Hercules 
was the abstract idea 
of sbength, applied to 
it in every sense; he 
was the power of the 
deity and the force ot 
the son.' 'Agreeably 
to which notion,' says 
Plutarch, ' Hercules was 
supposed by the £>gyp- 
tians to be placed in 
the sun, and to accom- 
pany him round the 
world, as Mercury doea 
the moon." ' 

According to Hero* 
dotus,* he was one of 
the twelve gods bom of 
the eight great divini- 
ties of the country. 
Jl^ Cicero* considetg the 
Mile his father; and 
shows him to have been 
distinct &om the famous 
Hercules of Tyre, the reputed son of Jupiter and Asterio. The 
antiquity of this deity is noticed by Herodotus in contradigtino- 
tion to the comparatively modem date of the Greek h^o,' and 


1 m 


B ^fe 





3, 3. ' SIlD, lllll Df tlM (Oil.' 

bj th< Gngsn or tbe god himHlf. Ha pT«- 
Bided DTsr th* aotmtioa of the faatJTtti 
■Dd tlma, wu t luDir deltr, udjngtifledor 
pludcd fiir OilTi* agiiut hit tnemiei, and 
■Im for the dud In tht futur* itate ; and 
in th< Bitiul a Hrl« of thw jmtiiicationt 
ii gifCB nndsr tbe nun* of the ' Crown of 
Troth.' He bore tb* name of the iUt, lub, 
ksd wu idcired under [t. Thoth wu In 
hot k kisd of Logo*, nod !• n btinf mid to 

be Hlf-formedi x*f>n- C>/,a1thongh at ■ lain 
time a ^neiUugr maj pntiiblT be found. 
~S. B. > Uacrob. Setom. L 33. 

• PtoL de laid. ■. 41 . • Herodot. U. 43. 

• Cic de Nat. Dear. lib. iii. IS. Diodonu 
uji of Hercnlea that ht waa bj birth •■ 
^tian (i. 2*, T. 76> 

< Herodot. li. 145, 146. It la T«f7 
donbtfnl if 8ha repreaenta Hereulca ia 
the mjthologj of Egypt, f^ be . wai a 




PoroeUin figure of Sba support- 
ing tbe aoUr dUk. 

pointed out by Macrobms, who says, 'Hercules is 

idig^oiisly worshipped at Tyre; but the Egyptians venerate 

hno with the most sacred and august rites, and look upon the 

period when his worship was first adopted 

bj tLem as beyond the reach of memory. 

He is believed to have killed the giants, 

iken, in the character of the valour of 

the gods, he fought in defence of heaven ;' 

nUch accords with the title of a work called 

*8eiiinathis»' written by ApoUonides or 

BormpiuSy^ describing the wars of the gods ^^' ^^ 

ifuiist the giants. Semnuthis, or Semnoute, signifies the * power 

of the gods ; ' and some suppose the name of Sebenv^tus to be 

deriTed from the same word. 

lamblichus calls Hercules * the force of nature ;' ' and these 
^eient authorities tend to confirm the opinion already stated, 
tint he was the abstract idea of valour or strength, and when 
npietented with the sun, he was the force of that luminary. The 
Greeks acknowledged two deities of this name, ' one worshipped 
ii tn immortal god, the other as a hero ; ' ' and it is probable 
thit the former derived his origin from the Egyptian Gom, or from 
the Tyrian Melcarthus, whose temple was founded in Phoenicia 
230O years before the age of Herodotus. The Greek mythology 
ilio acknowledged a goddess of strength, unconnected with Her- 
cdes, who was the sister of victory and valour, and the daughter 
c( FsUas, the son of Crius and Eurybia, by the nymph Styx. 
Champollion at one time conjectured that the name of the 
in woodcut No. 542 might read Maue, and that he was the 
^mdour of the solar rays; but there b no positive authority 
KHpecting the force of the ostrich-feather. [The god Shu 
Aequently supports the solar disk with his hands, and appears 
to he the same as woodcut No. 543. See also the name of the 
god at Tel el Amama, Plate XXIII., where Shu seems to be said 
* to reside in the solar disk.* — G. W.] 

■far g«d 


ia imnMdUU conDectioD with 
md hb AAOM mMBt Might.' 
•jmbpUa«d bj th« dUk and emblem 
r. th« hiBdH|o«rten of an animal 
kmd. In the Ritual Shn U re- 
in the 16th chapUr alcratinf 
4aak, and •arrounded bj cjrnoce- 
(See the legend oi the deetniction 
ind. Narille, *La Destruction dee 
par lee IHcnx,' Trana. Soc. Bibl. 
IT. PL IS.) Tluroofhoai the Bitoal 

the uta en SAu, or symbolic eye of Sho, ie 
mentioned as the rital principle. Alon(C 
with Tef or Tefnn, his sister, alM> a pupil 
or daughter of the sun, he represented the 
constellation Gemini at the Koman period. 
Throughout the solar mjths he plajs a 
subordinate part.— S. B. 

' In Theophil. Antioch. ad Autolte. lih. 
ii. c. 6. 

* Iambi. Vita Pjthag. c. 2$: 8»re^t 

• Herodot. ii. 44. 


There is another deity who appears to lay claim to the name 
of Hercules, from the lion-skin he wears over his head and back ; 
but as his figure and hieroglyphics are not met with on the 
monuments, I offer this merely as a conjecture, from his having 
the principal attribute of the Greek Hercules. The only re- 
presentations I have seen are small terra-cotta figures of Bes 
or Besa,^ with a rude beard, not unlike some of the Typhonian 
monsters abeady mentioned, or the deformed Ptah-Socharis of 

Ehonsu was the third member of the great Theban triad, the 
first two, as already sho¥ni, being Amen-ra and Mut. He was also 
the third member of the first triad of Ombos, composed of Sebak, 
Athor, and Ehonsu, where his name is sometimes accompanied 
by the hawk of Horus. He is represented under the form of a 
mummy, holding in his hands the emblems of life, stability, and 
purity, with the flagellum and crook of Osiris ; at the side of his 
head falls the plaited lock of Harpociates, or of childhood, given 
to the youthful third personage of the Egyptian triads ; and he 
has the crescent and globe worn by Thoth in his character of the 
moon. He is also figured as a man with a hawk's head ; and he 
sometimes holds in his hand the palm-branch of Thoth, on which 
he is seen marking off the number of years with a reed or pen, 
like the last-mentioned deity. This, as well as the crescent and 
the globe, may appear to connect him with the moon ; but I am 
rather disposed to see in him some analogy to the Egyptian 
Hercules, or the representative of created things. The name of 
Ghon, given to Hercules by the author of the ' Etymologicum 
Magnum,'^ is certainly in favour of the former supposition, 
though much doubt still exists respecting the real character of 
the Egyptian Hercules. It was from this god that the name of 
an individual, Petechonsis, mentioned in a papyrus found at 
Thebes, was derived, which signifies Ghonsodotus, or * gifted by 
Khonsu.' It is compounded, like Diodotus, Herodotus, Am- 
monodotus, and others, of the word pety * gifted ' or * giver,' and 
the name of the deity. [Ghons is the personification of the moon, 
and in this character he is called Ghons-aah, or Ghons the mooDi 
and emanates from Han or Nu, the celestial abyss. He wears on 
his head the lunar disk, or has the head of a hawk, emblem of the 
deities of light. As a lunar deity the cynocephalic apes sacred to 
that luminary were adored in the shrine of the god at Thebee. 

^ One in the collection of Cheyalier Kestner. ' Jablonski, lib. ii. o. 3, s. S. 



He bote BeTeral names, and is Bometimes mentioned as 'the 
god with two names,' his second name being Nefer^hetp, under 
which he was worshipped at Uas or the Thebaid. He was also 
nailed the coonsellor of Thebes and chaser of the rebels, and Ms 
name seems to mean 'the chaser' oi 'pursuer.' The small temple 
attached to his worship at Thebes contained a tablet recording 

the miarion of Chona to exorcise the danghter of the king of 
B«khtan, in the 26th year of the reign of Barneses XIV., his 
raccessfiil ezpalsion of the dsemon, and triumphal return in the 
■A in which he had set out for that country.* He appears to 
We bad a kind of oracle at Thebes. His type resembled that of 
Ptah and Horns.— S. B.] 

I have already observed that several deities were represented 
in the aame character as the youthful Harpocrates. Ehonsu, the 
htt-mentioned god, differs from them by assuming the form of a 

1 D« Roag^ ' SUle figrptiumt,' Puli, 1B58. 


mmnmyy by holding in his hands the emblem of stability, united 
with the sign of life and pniity, and by his finger not being 
raised to his mouth. But he was, like them, the third member 
of a triad, and his youth was indicated in a similar manner by a 
lock of hair, the symbol of infancy. At Ombos he has even 
the hawk of Horus attached to his name, like most of these 
youthful deities. 

Ahi, the child of Athor, has been already mentioned, as well 
as Harpocrates, the son of Isis. It remains now to speak of 
Heka, PanSb-ta, Har-pa-ra, Har-semt-ta, and Harka, 

Heka is the third member of a triad at Esneh, proceeding 
from Chnoumis and Nebaut, a goddess who is one of the forms of 
NeitL He is figured as 'a child, like Harpocrates, having the 
usual lock of hair, with his finger to his mouth, and carrying in 
his hand the crook and flagellum of Osiris. [He formed with 
these deities a triad adored at Esneh ; and with Ehem or Amsi, 
and the goddess Ament, a Theban triad.^ — S. B.] 

The youthful deity Paneb-ta is the third member of the 
lesser triad of Ombos. He has the usual emblems of Harpocrates, 
and is styled the son of Horus or Aroeris : his name signifying 
*the lord of the world.'* 

Har-pa-ra, * Horus the sun,' a deity of similar form, is the 
third member of the triad of Hermonthis, proceeding firom Menta 
and the goddess Ba-ta. [His type is endowed with the solar 
disk and ursBus. — S. B.] 

Har-semt-ta, whose name implies ' Horus, the support of the 
world,' is the third member of the triad of Edfoo and Denderab, 
composed of Har-Hat, Athor, and this infant deity. 

Harka is the third member of the second triad of Thebes, the 
ofispring of Amen-ra Generator and Tamen. He is evidently of 
ancient date, occurring on monuments of the Pharaohs of the 
18th Dynasty. In form he resembles Harpocrates and other oi 
these youthful deities, from which the hieroglyphic legends alone 
distinguish him. 

The goddess Ta-sen-t-nefer is the second person of the lease] 
triad worshipped at Ombos, consisting of Aroeris, Ta-sen-t-nefer. 
and their son Paneb-ta. Her name seems to apply to Isis, as i1 
signifies * the sister of the Good,'^ which title peculiarly belong! 
to Osiris. 

* Pierret, * Diet.,* p. 244.— S. B. called son of Horus ; and in hierog. 6, ton o 

« In Plate XXXVII., hierog. 5, he ii Ombos.— S. B. • Or Hhe g^ sister. 


The remaining deity represented in this plate ^ is taken fxwn 
the sculptures at Tuot (Tuphium), but his name is unknovn, 
and the absence of hieroglTphic legends prevents our asqpr- 
taining his character and office. From his head project w)tat 
appear to be two ears, which alone axe remarkable in his otl^r- 
wise simple form. He is probably of an inferior class of deitjes, 
and of uncertain date. 

Atum was one of the principal deities of the second order of 
gods. His name appears to read Atum, Tmu, or Tethmu, being 
written both with A and T as the initial letter. We may perhaps 
trace in Atum the word tern, 'to complete or perfect,'* but I am 
unable to decide to what deity he corresponds in the mythology 
of Greece. 

There is reason to suppose him the Heron of Egypt, £rpm 
whom the city Heroopolis, on the canal which communicated 
from the Nile to the Bed Sea, was called. A monument still 
existing amidst the mounds of an old town near the site of tbat 
city, which presents hia figure with that of Ptah, E^eper, a|id 
King Bameses the Great, seems to confirm this opinion. Chasi- 
pollion quotes a passage from a hieratic papyrus, which says, 
* My right temple belongs to the spirit of the sun in the day, 
and my left temple to the spirit of Atum in the night;* which 
would seem to identify him with Sol Inferos, and recalls the 
word atme, ^darkness,' which in the Arabic language has that 
signification. The same ingenious savant thinks that the analogy 
between Atum and Heron is confirmed by the monumental 
inscriptions giving to the kings the title * born of Atum,' siatce 
Hermapion, in his translation of the Obelisk of Ramesee, cills 
that monarch the * son of Heron.' The expression *Phrah, Lord 
of Years like Atum,' common on obelisks and dedicatory inscrip- 
tions, serves to maintain the connection between those forrnvkd 
and that given by Hermapion ; and the latter appears to have 
reference to the idea of completion of time, which accords with 
the name of Atum. Though principally worshipped in Lover 
Egypt, he holds a conspicuous place amongst the contem^ar 
gods of Thebes ; and the paintings in the tombs show that he 
fulfilled an important office in the regions of Amenti. Ho is 
there represented in a boat, accompanied by Thoth, Ma (tiie 
goddess of truth and justice), and Athor ; Horus, * the son. of 
Osiris,' performing, as usual, the office of steersman. The boat 

» Plate XXX VII. fig. 1. « Rather tamh, * to anraoge or distribute.' 



[Chap. xm. 

appears to be styled * of Thoth, the Lord of the Eight Begions/ 
and also ^ of the son of Osiris ; ' but this last is probably in oon- 
sequence of its being entrusted to the charge of Horus. On the 
prow sits a swallow ; but the rare occurrence of this bird is not 
sufficient to fix it as an anblem of Atum ; and we even find it in 



the same position in the boat of Ba. Atum wears the crowns of 
Upper and Lower Egypt, not however placed one within, but at 
the side of, the other ; and he is always figured with a human 
head, and painted of a red colour. Sometimes, though rarely, h 
appears with a simple cap, and he holds the staff of punt; 


to all the gods of Egypt [Atum, or Turn, represented 

setting sun, and after his setting in the west gave life to the 

ismliabitants of the lower hemisphere. He was the setting, as Ba 

the rising son. Besides his solar character, he was a demi- 

and a creator of things or existences both visible and 

^▼isible. So mingled was he with Ba that the sun-god pro- 

firom the abyss is said to be his father, and Turn becomes 

turn the father of Shn, or the rising sun. His chief worship 

at An or Heliopolis, of which he is called the powerful 

b^all, and he appears there with the parhedral gods Hannachb, 

K'mntsas, Athor, and Nebhotep.^— ^. B.] 

Nefer-Atum was perhaps an emanation from, or a character 

<>€» the one just mentioned. The prefix Nefer signifies ' good ;' 

aiid he may possibly be the abstract idea of goodness, without 

interfering with the privileges of Osiris : for Osiris was, in like 

banner, distinct from the goddess Ma, though called 'the 

Uvd of GroodnesB and 2VtiM.' Nefer- Atum was styled 'the 

l^ender' or 'Protector of the World,* or 'the Two Begions 

of Egypt.' He bore on his head a lotus-flower, or two long 

faitheiB upon a shaft, on either side of which was attached a 

paealiar pendent emblem ; and he frequently carried in his hand 

« loeptie with a summit of the same form. I have sometimes 

taid his figure in the tombs of Thebes accompanied by a 

ajmbol which appears of particular importance in relation to the 

^eidy and may allude to some office he held in the region of 

fiidet. He is even represented standing on the back of a lion. 

[He wis the son of Ptah and Bast, and his functions are difficult 

<o anderstand.] 

The goddess Anouka was the third member of the triad of 
^*orthem Ethiopia and the Cataracts, composed of Chnoumis, 
^!)iti, and Anouka ; and at Dakkeh she is represented as the nurse 
^ t kingy who is said to be ' the son of Chnoumis, and bom of 
^^* the two other deities of the same triad* She was the Vesta 
^ the Egyptian Pantheon, as we learn from an inscription at 
^Sekayl, formerly Set^, an island inunediately below the First 
^Jitanet» which calls her ' Anouka or Hestia.* Herodotus' seems 
to think that Vesta was not among the number of the Egyptian 
4ifiutiei» when he says, ' Nearly all the names of the Greek 
|o4s have come from Egypt ; for, excepting Neptune, the Dio- 

* h tk« Qntk iMcriptioM ht U calUd Tomoi. (Pkrret, * Diet.,' p. 77. • lUoords of 
^fm; Ti p. 53.>-S. B. • Htrodot. li. 50. 




Bcnri, Juno, Vesta, Themis, the Graces, and Nerdds, those of all 
the other deities have always been known in Egypt ; and this is 
asserted by the Egyptians themselves.' It is possible that he 
means the name, and not the 
character, of this goddess ; for 
there is abundant evidence of 
Juno and Themis being Egyp- 
tian deities. But still the re- 
semblance betveen the name 
of the latter, and of the Egyp- 
tian goddess (Ma), was greater 
than of any other in the two 
Pantheons; and in proof of 
this we have only to compare 
those of Amen and Zeus, Ehem 
and Pan, Thoth and Hermes, 
and many others, which have 
scarcely a single letter in com- 
mon, and directly contradict 
the assertion of Uie historian. 
It is, at all events, certaia that 
JoDo, Yesta, and Themis were 
Egyptian deities, though there 
is no evidence of the others he 
mentions being admitted to 
their Pantheon ; and Neptane, 
according to the historian, 
' was only known to the Libyans.' To the Greek appellation of 
the ocean-god, Po$eid6n, it may not be too presumptnons to apply 
the meaning of the ' Deity of Sidon,' from which maritime town 
of Phoenicia Greece very probably derived his worship ; and the 
Latin Neptune may present a similar claim to an Eastern origin, 
in the commencement of his name NSt, which in the language 
of Egypt and Syria signified ' Lord." Diodonifl ' admits Vesta 
into the nnmber of the gods of Egypt, together with the Snn, 
Saturn, Bhea, Jupiter, Juno, Yulcan, and Mercury ; and the im- 
portance of her office is shown by her frequent ooeurrence in 
the oldest temples. She also seems to bear some anal<^ to 
Neith, though in reality distinct from that goddess. 

The head-dress of Anouka, which is singular, and ezclnsiTelj^ 


^{Koprialed to her, is a cap or ciown sunnotmted by several 
^etthers placed in a circular form.^ 

The deity Ma had a twofold character, as goddess of tmth 

aud of justice. Her figure is frequently represented in the 

luads of the kings, who present it as a fit offering to the gods ; 

mad many, in their regal titles, are said to love, or to be loved 

by. Ha.' A small image of this goddess was also worn by the 

chief judge while engaged in listening to the cases brought 

befbre him in court ; and when the depositions of the two parties 

and their witnesses had been heard, he touched the successful 

litigant with the image, in token of the justness of his cause. 

A similar emblem was used by the high priest of the Jews ; and 

it is a remarkable fact that the word Thummim is not only 

translated * truth,' but, being a plural or dual word, corresponds 

to the Egyptian notion of the * Two Truths,' or the double capacity 

of this goddess. 

According to some, the Urim and Thummim signify * lights 
sad perfections,'' or Might and truth,' 
"-which last present a striking analogy ' \;>\av\\^ 
to the two figures of Ba and Ma, in the 
bnig(»pUte worn by the Egyptians. And 
tliOQgh the resemblance of the Urim and 
the veua, or basilisk, the symbol of 
Bttiesly, suggested by Lord Prudhoeu is a br«ii(pute wnh um oguM or 

•JL U Ul T J- 1 X No. Ml. lUaodlU. 

^9tj remarkable, I am disposed to 

tU&k the Mights,' Aorim,^ or Urim, more nearly related to 
the sm, which is seated in the breast-plate with the figure of 
Tmth.* This goddess was sometimes represented by two similar 
igues placed close to each other ; or by one figure wearing two 
oUrich-feathers, her emblem ; and sometimes by the two feathers 
alone, as in the scales of the final judgment. It is to these 
igves that Plutarch* alludes, when he speaks of the two Muses 
at Hermopolis, under the names of Isis and Justice. Diodorus 
<kicribea the chief judge in the sculptures of the tomb of 
O^jmandyas,' with the figure of Tmth suspended to his neck, 

* B« type mmd Bam* anaoiincca forein ' Exod. xxxix. 8, 10; and Lerit. Tiii. fi, 

k«t ktr wonhip appian as carlj * [Coat Aor, Honu, and AoOra, with 


Iki 1Mb Draattj. Slio was in tht tho Ahora, AoOremei or Ormesd, of tht 

lalaliaa to tba tria4 of DcpkaatiM Ptnian Srft-wonhipptn.— O. W.] 
JbpftitJifB to that of Abjdoc, aad fwtirals * [A« the Urim aad Thammim wtra 

•i bm vwa calebratad oa tha 2Sth of PaophI placed in tho brrast-plato, and to * bo unoa 

m4 iha 20ih of Athjr.-S. & Aaroa'e heart ' (i:xod. xzriiL au>— <2. W.] 

• OmL tha UUefaaA4#«r of ihaobtlUk • Flat, de Ind. i. 3. 

hj Hannaptoiu * IHodor. i. 4S. 




witli Iier eyes closed ; and it ia wortiiy of remark that the si 
mode of Tepiesenting the goddess ocean ia the paintingi 
Thebe«, ooufirming the account of the histman, and establidi 
her claims to the character I have given her.' Her princ 

occnpations were in the lower regions, and she was on earth 
great cardinal Tirtue : for the ancients considered, that as t 
or justice influenced men's conduct towards their neighbc 

' UtUiia Hi*n>g.,' p. 46. 


and tended to maintain that harmony and good-will which were 
most essential for the welfare of society, it was of far greater 
importance than the other three — Prudence, Temperance, and 
Fortitude. These were reflective quaUties; and more imme- 
diately beneficial to the individual who possessed them than to 
those with whom he was in the habit of associating. 

As the dead, after the final judgment and admission into the 
regions of the blessed, bore her emblem (either the ostrich- 
feather, or the vase which indicated their good deeds, taken from 
the scales of Truth) and were considered approved or justified 
by their works, the hieroglyphics of her name were adopted to 
signify 'deceased,' or, in other words, * judged' or 'justified.' 
The same idea may be traced in an expression of Plato's Gorgias, 
where, in speaking of the judgments of the dead, Socrates says, 
^Sometimes Bhadamanthus, beholding the soul of one who has 
passed through life with Truth, whether it be of a private man 
or any other, is filled with admiration, and dismisses that soul 
to the Islands of the Blessed. The same is also done by 
.£acu8.' ^ Indeed, the modem Persian or Arabic expression in 
idation to the dead is not very dissimilar, which styles them 
'pardoned,' or 'to whom the mercy of God has been shown,' 
answering to our more simple and matter-of-fact 'the late,' or 
'the departed.' 

Diodorus' mentions a figure of Justice without a head,^ 
standing in the lower regions, ' at the gates of Truth,' which I 
Jme found in the judgment scenes attached to the funeral 
jsitoals on the papyri of Thebes. In one of the subjects of a 
^snummy-case in the British Museum, the goddess occurs under 
"^e tona of a sceptre (surmounted by an ostrich-feather), from 
"^^hich proceed her two arms, supporting the body of the deceaseds 
—Another figure of the same goddess, issuing from a mountain, 
him at the same time two emblems, supposed to repre- 
it water, or the drink of heaven. Ma was always styled the 
^^^3ttighter of the sun, and sometimes * chief or ' directress of the 
From her name the Greeks evidently borrowed their 
who was supposed to be the mother of DikSy or Justice ; 
the name of the Egyptian city Thmuis does not appear to 
k>Tebeen called from the goddess of truth.^ 
\Tliename of the god Mendes is supposed to have been found 

* YViUKta^Wt tnai^ toI. It. p. 458. of modern times. 
^ \Mn, i. W. 4 The place of tl 

» T^ caUi to v^Bd<tke good woman' ment was the hall of 

the great or last jndg- 
good woman ' ment was the hall of the Two Traths.^S. B. 


in that of Ba-en-tattn, or Bendidi, as some read it ; the inter- 
change of the M and the B making it Ma^n-tattu or Mendes. 
There is also a variant Ba-neb-tat, or * the sonl, lord of Tattu or 
Abnsir/ According to the inscriptions he was represented with 
the head of a sheep or goat, and the goat of Mendes was the 
living spirit of the sun, the life of Ba, the generator, the 
prince of yonng women, the only god, the original male power 
of gods and men, who reveals himself with fonr heads in the 
region of light, coming in the streams of the Nile and giving air. 
The enthronement of the ram of Mendes, and the completion of 
the temple, is given on the tablet of Ptolemy Philadelphns found 
at Mendes. The god was represented ram-headed.^ — 8. B.] 

Herodotus considers Mendes the Egyptian Pan ; but I have 
already shown the deity of Panopolis to be Khem, and it is 
evident that he has mistaken the characters of both those deities. 

* The Mendesians,' says the Father of History,* * abstain from 
sacrificing goats for these reasons : they place Pan among the 
number of the eight gods, who were supposed to have preceded 
the twelve ; and this deity is represented by their painters and 
sculptors in the same manner as in Greece, with the head and 
legs of a goat. It is not that they believe he really had that 
form ; they think him like the other gods ; but the reason being 
connected with religion, I am not at liberty to explain it. The 
Mendesians have a great respect for goats, particularly the 
males ; the same feeling is extended to those who have the care 
of them ; and when a he-goat dies, the whole of the Mendesian 
nome goes into mourning.' ^This animal,' he adds, 'and the 
god Pan are both called in Egyptian Mendes;' and Plutarch' 
asserts that ' the Mendesian goat had the name of Apis,' like the 
sacred bull of Memphis. Diodorus^ says it was chosen as an 
emblem of the god of generation ; who, as I have already shown, 
was Khem, the Egyptian Pan : but this is not confirmed by the 
monuments ; and though numerous representations occur of the 
god Ehem, we find no instance of the goat introduced as his 

The fact of Herodotus admitting Pan to be one of the eight 
great gods leaves no doubt respecting his identity with Khem, 
who, too, is shown by the authority of a Greek dedication at 
Chemmis, or Panopolis, to be the Pan of Egypt. But tin 

' Bmgsch-Bey, ' Die grosse Mendes- * Herodot. ii. 42, 46. 
Stele/ Zeitschrift f. iigypt. Spr., 1875, s. * Pint, de Isid. i. 73. * Diodor. I 

75. * Records of the Past,' riii. p. 91. 




dMcription he gives of this deity, with the head and legs of a 
goat, is so inconsistent with the Egyptian mode of representing 
thew divinities, that I do not scruple to reject it as perfectly 
OTvooeons, fully persuaded that the god Mendes never had th^ 
ftwiB, either in the Mendesiao nome,or in any part of the country. 
^lat he bore no relation to Khem, or Fan, I have already shown ; 
■ttd Hende«, if he be the same as Mentu, was totally distinct 
front the god of generation. 

Vain indeed would be the task of endeavouring to reconcile 
the opinitHBB of Greek writers with 
tbe real eharactors of the Egyp- 
tian deities, and it is frequently pre- 
fcrable to reject them than to be 
inflnenoed by their doubtful testi- 

Mentn was probably one of the 
tefied attributes of the sun, which 
kay have led to the remark of 
8tiibo, that Apollo was worshipped 
■t Hemonthis,* since Mentu formed 
<be leading person of the triad 
*( the place : he wore the globe 
*( Ra, with tbe feathers of Amen, 
■id was usually represented with 
At head of a hawk, the emblem 
*f die son. He sometimeB had the 
■Ms of fia added to his own, as in 
tmttd the hieroglyphic legends in 
■oodrnt No. MO, which might read 
](aita-ra, or ' Hentu the son.' * 
lUi may be adduced in confirma- 
tua of the opinion, that many 
Egyptian gods were originally 
ktTDwed from a Halxeaa worship 
L in the countrv at a 

period ; which, modified 
^ qMcnlative theory, afterwards assumed a metaphysical cha- 
They appear to have retained in their form the con- 
they bad with tbe sun or other heavenly bodies, after 

* ll*«la-r**w llw|nil sf w. 

tm.' H* aUo rt«n th« buk qI lh« in>, ud 
r,ud»ft«B pl*r««TrpbDD or ih* Apbftpbii. A rtalM 
MI^Uk*ABHB-ra,th*iiUpaA,srKlDlt*T, In tb* Lenrr* npmraU bin Ivo-hMdaJ. 
hyirtKhtkwd. la lb* Iwcriptka af (PkrrM, ■[>kt.,'p. U8. BInb, ' OkIUtt 
Wt—JB It b nU of Uimmm IL Hut of Aatiq^F 34.>-& & 
'bb^ ta im to Ua cbuM, Uk* llMt»- 


haying been converted into representatiyes of the divine attri- 
butes. The Pharaohs frequently styled themselyes ' Mentn to- 
wards the Gentiles;' from which it appears that he was the 
ayenger or protector against enemies, the Mars of Egyptian 
mythology, with the additional title of JTZtor, * ayenger/ like 
the Boman god of war. In this capacity he might justly be 
considered * the guardian of Egjrpt.' The god of war to whom 
the expressions^ more properly apply, is the god Beshpu, the 
actual destroyer of men and cities ; a diyinity of inferior rank, 
and one whose character was not connected with any abstract 
idea of the deity. Mentu held a higher post. He was the god 
of war in a metaphysical point of yiew, — a diyine attribute, as 
the ayenging power, and opposed to the mere type of war as 
distinctly as were seyeral metaphysical and physical characters 
of other Egyptian deities. He was probably the Ares * of the 
obelisk of Bameses, whose inscription, translated by Hermapion, 
is giyen in Ammianus Marcellinus. 

The name of Mentu may be traced in those of several 
individuals, as Mentu-hetep, Osymandyas, and others. It also 
appears in that of Isment^ which is given to several towns even 
at the present day. 

Mandoulis, or, according to the hieroglyphics, Maloul, is 
mentioned in numerous Greek inscriptions at Kalabshi in Nubia, 
the ancient Talmis, as the deity of the place. From the 
similarity of the names, I had supposed him to be the same as 
the preceding god ; but his figure in the adytum of the temple 
differs from that of Mentu, and shows him to be a distinct deity. 
In the inscriptions mention is made of his horse, an animal sacred 
among some nations to the sun; but little is known of his 
attributes, or the office he held in the mythology of Egypt. 

At Dab&d he occurs as the third member of a triad composed 
of Seb, Nut, and this deity ; where his dress and title, * Lord of 
Philse,' appear to connect him, on this occasion at least, with 
Osiris. Champollion, after stating that at Kalabshi he is the 
third person * of a triad formed of Horus, his mother Isis, and 
their son Maloul,' comes to the conclusion that this triad was 
the link which connected the extremity of the divine chain, as 
the last of the incarnations of Amen-ra.^ It was therefore the 
final triad, of which the three members resolved themselves into 
those of the first triad, Horus being called the husband of his 

* Homer, D. E, 31 : ^Apcr, "ApcT, /SporoXoiyi, fuai^rc, rtix^ertwXirra, 

* "Apfis, * ChampoU. Lettre xi. pp. 155, 156. 



aother, bj whom he had Malonl. Thas these three oorreepond 
Id Amen, Hot, and Khonsn of the Thebon sanotnary. This is on 
tbe rapposition that Mot was in like manner the mother of Amen 
am Ids was the mother of Hortu.' 

ilUr, tnU |ad taalat la 

Sefaak, tbe crocodile-beaded deit^ of Ombos, was another 
Stifled form of the son, as may be seen from tbe hieroglyphic 
legend where the crocodile is followed by its figurative hiero- 
llyphic, the globe of Ita. This ammal was a type of the sun, 
'its nnmber sixty,' according to lamblicbus,* being tbonght to 
■eeord with that luminary. But the respect paid to it at Ombos, 
mi some otfaer towns of tbe Tbeb^d, was not universal tbrongb- 
•>t Egypt. The people of Apollinopolis and Tcntyris, in parti- 
calar, held it in the utmost abhorrence ; and the enmity conse- 
yat upon this difference of opinion was carried so far by the 

« wMdeat No. MO, Jig. 1, h* *pp«n 
ma tk* b«lswt *nnn«nDt«d (7 th« 
t, asy, or UlpU Ob/, Uk* Hu-pulb. 

■ Uu parioiL— 8. B, 

■ lutU. d« Hjnur. ». 3, c. B. 



[Cbu. SIU 

Teatyrites and Ombites, tbat a serions conflict ensoed between 
them, in which many persons lost their lives. And, if we may 
believe Jnvenal,' to such a degree were the passions of the belli- 
gerents excited, that the Tictorions Tentyrites actually ate the 
flesh of one of their opponents who had fallen into their hands. 

Thebes acknowledged Sebah as a deity, and the fignies 
represented below are taken &om the scnlpttires of the capital of 
Upper Egypt. The hieroglyphics in the foortfa line read, ' Sebak, 

Sehik-rm. iDTd of Omtw, gr 
I of tM Soalli ud Nonk Co 

the ruler of the Upper Conntry, and the Land of the North ;' which 
last appears to confirm what I before obserred respecting the 
title given to Thoth. Cham pollion considers that he corresponded 
to the Greek EroD(», or Satnm, in consequence of the coins <rf 
CrocodilopoUs, or Arsinoe, presenting his figure, and a medal of 
Antoninus struck at Alexandria having the same deity with a 
crocodile in his right hand. Clemens of Alexandria, indeed,* 

I juTou], su. IT. sa 

* Clem. Alai. Strom. i 




nppoiet the crocodile to be the emblem of time ; and HorapoUo 
nji the two eyes indicate the rising of the sun, its body placed 
in i canred posture the setting, and its tail ^ the darkness of 
light ; but the fact of * the years of Seb ' occurring so frequently 
OB the monuments seems rather to identify the father of Osiris 
with the Greek Kronos. He sometimes, though rarely, appears 
with the head of a ram and the asp of Chnoumis ; he then 
Momes the attributes of that deity. The crocodile, his emblem, 
tDnni part of the name of Sabaco, one of the Ethiopian princes 
rf the 25th Dynasty : and at Ombos he shares with Aroeris the 
kmuB of the sanctuary, one of the adyta of that double temple 
hong dedicated to him. I have once found an instance of the 
WQidSebak written Sahbak, or Shabak ; and if we may follow the 
•Bthority of Strabo, Souchos, or rather Sovk,' is another mode of 
wiitiBg his name, which the geographer tells us was that of the 
iMred crocodile of Arsinoe.' 

The goddess Tefnu is represented with a lion's head, and the 
globe and asp of the sun, of whom she is said to be the daughter ; 
or with a human head, having the horns, feathers, and globe, 
rtich form the head-dress of Athor. She held a conspicuous 
flace among the contemplar deities of Thebes ; but I am not 
certain what peculiar office she bore, or to what deity she cor- 
vapooded in the Greek Pantheon. She may be the same as the 
feUmng goddess ; and the city of the Pelusiac Daphne ^ was 
poUbly called after her, as well as the predecessor of the modem 
TofiMet, in the Thebaid. The latter town, which lies between 
tmek and the Gebelayn, is remarkable for its lofty mounds, 
ttd appears to have been the Aphroditopolis of Greek writers. 
Tafiii is represented in the Oasis holding a bow and arrow in her 
haad, with an eye on her head ; but this is of late time, and of 
tnnsoal occurrence.* 

The grxldess Thriphis is mentioned in the Greek dedications 
of the temples at Chemmis and Athribis, as the contemplar 

* [IW crocodile** Uil flood f<»r th« word 
* bUck,' ud with th« fign O * lan^l,' 

■fBificd *tb« Lind of Kemi/ or 

Imc-G. W ] 

' SubW, ivii. p. .VtS. 

' Ukmk vfti « Mlar ^od, and id a paprnu 

ht ■ criUd ■OB of Ui«, an«l comhuts like 

tbt «»cini^ of fKirii. I'lider thU 

W VM «orihip|Md at Ombtw. Hit 

to M oUl a« th« 13lh Djoaity. In 

woodcut No. 5:* !,/</. 1, he appears idaUtUied 
with Amen. — 8. H. 

* Heroilot. ii. 30, 107. Tehaphnehai, or 
Tahpanheft, nf the Scripture*, and Tdfwm of 
tba Septuagint. 

* She i« represented with the head of a 
lion and wearing: a di»k an<l nrcot Uk« the 
goddesses Sekhet, Bast, and Menhi. SIm is 
called the pupil, eye, or daughter of the 
San, and was the twin sister of Shaman*! 
represented with him at the Roman pariud 
tba constellation QeminL— S. B. 



companion of Ehem ; and from the conspicuous post there held 
by her, it is evident that she was a divinity of considerable con- 
sequence. Her exact form and attributes, however, are not 
ascertained, though it is probable she had the head of a lion. 

Burton has given another goddess with the head of that 
animal in the 26th Plate of his valuable * Excerpta ;' but being 
of late Boman time, and of uncertain character, I have not 
introduced her with the other lion-headed deities. 

There is a deity who has also the head of a lion surmounted 

b^ a solar disk. She sometimes appears under a human form, 

with the head-dress of Athor. Her name reads Ur-heku or Ur- 

hek-ti,^ probably the origin of the Grecian Hecate; and it is 

when bearing the attributes of this goddess that Isis has the 

Dame of Hekte, or Hecate, attached to her own, as I have already 

observed. Even the goddess Mut is found sometimes to assume 

the title of Hekte, as well as her form and attributes ; and the 

none are likewise given to Bast or Bubastis. 

Her figure occurs at Medeenet Haboo, and on other monu- 
ments of ancient date, both among the gods of the temples and 
the deities of the tombs, recalling the line of Virgil.* Accord- 
ing to Epiphanius, Hecate is the same as Tithrambo : since he 
ttys, * Some are initiated into the rites of Tithrambo, which is 
interpreted Hecate ; others into those of Nephthys ; and some 
into those of Thermuthis.' ^ But the deity Tithrambo seems 
lather to be connected with the Evil Being Nubti, already 
Mentioned, and distinct from the Egyptian Hecate. 

The form and attributes of the goddess Menhai ^ are similar 
to those of Hekte : a lion's head surmounted by a solar disk, and 
theiineus. The figure in Plate XXXIX. is taken from the temple 
of Eaneh, which is of a Boman period. But Menhai was not a 
ifitj of late introduction, since she appears at Thebes on monu- 
i&ents of an early Pharaonic age. From her name being attached 
to that of Bast or Bubastis* we may conclude she sometimes 
Muned the character of the Egyptian Diana, though at Esneh 
•be was one of the forms of Neith or Minerva. 

Though there is reason to believe that Nut held an important 
station as the protectress of mothers, the fact of the goddess 

* This name is applied, as will be seen, * Or Menhi. She was a type of Sexet, 
tecsrrctpond to Athor and Bast or Sexet. and especially adored at Esneh. 

B«r aMBe pn»babl y meant ureas. — S. B. » Cf. woodcut No. 508, p. 36, with the 

' Virj^. .£0. ri. 247 : — type of the goddess Bast or Bubastis, whose 

'Reiten Celoque Ereboqne potentem.' name occurs from the earliest period. — 

* I'richard, p. 144, who quotes JablonskL S. B. 




[Chap. xm. 

Nekheb presiding over the city of Eileithyia, and her attendance 
upon Isis while nursing Horus, assert her claim to the name of 
Lucina.^ It also seems in some degree confirmed by her emblem^ 
a vulture,' the hieroglyphical representative of 'a mother/ 
Though the monxmients show her to have performed the duties 
of Lucina, she is more usually the protectress of the kings ; and 
she does not appear, like the Greek Lucina, to be connected with 
the moon, or with Bubastis, the Egyptian Diana. At Eileithyia 
she was worshipped under the name of Seneb or Soven ;' and 
there, as in other places, she had the office of Lucina. Nut, as 
already stated, had also a claim to that character, being the * pro- 
tectress of childbirth and of nurses ;' and the monster goddess 
Typho, who appears to represent childbearing or gestation, Lds, 
and even Bannu, Athor, and other deities, shared with her the 
duties of Lucina. Here, as in many instances, we observe the 
characters of some of the Egyptian deities to be as closely 
allied as those of the Greek Pantheon; and the occasional 
transfer of the attributes of one god to another, and the gradual 
blending of minute shades of distinction, tend to make their 
mythology obscure and uncertain. Thus we have the goddess 
Eileithyia ; Nut, who was Bhea, the protectress of mothers in 
childbirth; Typho, the emblem of childbearing or gestation; 
Eannu, the nurse of infant princes ; and Isis, Athor, and other 
goddesses, who assisted with Lucina, or acted as the nurses of 

The Bomans, in like manner, had several goddesses who 
presided over parturition and young children, as Partunda and 
others ; and so numerous did their deities become by this sub- 
division of their nature or attributes, that Petronius observes^ 
^ Italy is now so holy, that it is easier to find a god than a man. 
The hieroglyphical legend of the Egyptian Lucina reads, Seneb^ 
Sebu,* or Soven ; and she is styled * Lady of the land of Seneb^ 
or Seben,* Eileithyia,* which is represented by, and appears to 
be derived from, * a leg.'* It is to this place that Diodorus' 

* Hot. Carm. Sec. 13. 

* Horapollo may have in view Eileithyia or 
Juno-Lucina, when he says Juno and Minerva 
are both represented by a vulture (i. 11). 

' [In an inscription at Eileithyia she ap- 
pears to be called 2Miei2, though the 
letters may read SNIOIN or even SINeiN. 
Perhaps EIAieiN ?— G. W.] 

* The name of this goddess is now r«ad 
Nekheb, although formerly supposed to be 

Seben, or Sovan ; but the correct fbrai li 
apparently Nishem, as pointed out bj IL 
Le P. Renouf, from a comparison ot Um 
early list of articles, in whico it appeurt as 
part of the body. — S. B. 

* That is, of Eileithyia the city, niUkit* 
stood : it is not called Eileithyiopolis. — S. R 


• cH&i or cKfi.mpA.Tq («K 

tibia cruris), ' Diodor. L 12. 


alludes when he says that the goddess Eileithyia, one of the 
ancient deities of Egypt, founded a city called after her ; as did 
Jove, the Sun, Hermes, Apollo, Pan, and many others ; and this 
assertion of the historian accords well with the antiquity of that 
city, which contained some of the oldest remains existisg in 
Egypt.^ The same credit cannot be attached to a statement of 
Plutarch, that men were formerly sacrificed in this city, as I shall 
have occasion to observe in speaking of the rites of the Egyptiai^* 
Soven * may also be the genius of the Upper Country, or tb^ 
South, opposed to the genius of the Lower Country, though I d-^ 
not trace that connection of the former with Neith, and tb^ 
latter with Sati, which HorapoUo might lead us to expect^ 
However inconsistent may be the assumption of two charactet^ 
by the same goddess, we find that the Greek Eileithyia was vC^ 
like manner confounded with other deities, as Juno and Diana^^ 
though said to be daughter of Jupiter and of Juno, or, accordia^^ 
to some, of Latona. 

She is usually represented as a goddess with the cap and 
two ostrich-feathers of Osiris, or with the cap of the Upper 
Country, and occasionally with the globe and horns of Athor ; 
and she frequently appears under the form of a vulture, which, 
with outspread wings, hovers over the king as if to protect him. 
This confirms the statement of Eusebius,^ who observes that the 
image of the deity worshipped at the Egyptian city of ' Eilei- 
thyia had the form of a flying vulture, whose wings were inlaid 
with precious stones.' She has also the form of an asp, which, 
like the vulture, wears the head-dress of Osiris — ^the crown of the 
Upper Country with two ostrich-feathers. This asp is frequently 
winged. It wears the psherU, or crown of the Two Regions ; or 
the crown of Upper Egypt only, when opposed to the genius of 
the Lower Country, who, under the same form of an asp, has that 
of Lower Egypt The water-plants chosen as the initials of the 
respective names of these two goddesses agree with the crowns 
they wear; one signifying * Upper,' the other * Lower Egypt,' 

which are thus written in hieroglyphics mwf * ^ ■ > or 



, the last two having in addition the bowl or basket, 

' Destrojed hj the Turks. * Nishem. sphere ; and the Tulture is the emblem of 
* Horapollo, L 11, says Minerva rules Urania, the eoddess of heayen. 
the Upper, and Juno the Lower ' Hemi- * Euseb. Prsepar. Eyangel. iiL 12. 

Chap, xm.] 



signifying *Lord.* Indeed, it is not altogether improbable 
that the goddess Eileithyia may have had the name Sares/ 
• the South/ * which her hieroglyphic, sometimes written thus 

found no instance of the goddess to whom she is opposed 
haying the hieroglyphic signifying * the North/ 

, appears to justify ; but I haye 



• Soyen also appears occasionally with a yulture's 

head, and I haye found instances 
of this goddess as an Ophiffyps, 
with the body of a yidture and 
the head of a snake, on the cofiSns 
of the dead. 

[The goddess Uat or Uati is 

the same as the Greek Buto, 

and was worshipped at Tep, or 

the city of Buto, situated at the 

eitiemity of the Bosetta branch of 

the NUe.»— S. B.] This goddess 

lutt also the character of guardian and protectress of the monarchs, 

mi is placed in opposition to Eileithyia, as the genius of the 

1 9 

Other forms <^ the goddeas EUeithyia. 
No. U2. 


F^. 1. Ueli, or the genius of the Lower Country, opposed tojlgt, 2 sod 8, 

JNIshem. or the goddess EUefthylA. 


Lower Country. She is represented under the form of an asp, 
frequently with wings, haying the crown of Lower Egypt, 
vUch is also worn by her when figured as a goddess. She is 
treated as one of the contemplar diyinities at Thebes and other 
towns of the Upper Proyinces, with the same honours as the last- 
Vkentioued deity. She also occurs under the form of a yulture, 

^^?P« ^CT?^ ^a» called Mares, whence or else ras, the Coptic form.— S. B. 

^ ^nkAc nune Hsi^ or Mmre^see ap-' * Brugsch in the * Zeitschrift f. agypt. 

» ^^ »«»*i wind. Sprache,' 1871, p. 12. 
rts wgtdfov •ollU^llow•Ttr, was grnio, 



[Chap. XnL 

i-ig. L UaU. 2 and 3. Nishem* the goddeu 
No. 5M. EUAlthyU. 

alternately with the vulture of Eileithyia, on the ceilings of the 
temples; being distinguished only by the cap of the Lower 
Country, and the hieroglyphic legend which accompanies he? 

emblem. She even attends 
I if If X II I Isis ^Wle nursing Horns, 

■^^ together with the goddess 

j£tr ^Xs^ EUeithyia. 
Wfo^ ^Bi^ Egypt, as might reason- 

yW^ ^iwN^ ^^^ ^ expected, was among 

^ ^ ^ ' ^ the deities worshipped in the 

country. Bhe is represented 
with the emblem of purity 
on her head, and another 
apparently signifying 'cul- 
tivated land,' which also 
enters into the names of the goddess Eahi and the deity of 
Tentyris. In one hand she holds a spear with a bow and arrows, 
and in the other a battle-axe and the sign of life, illustrative of 
the military power of the country. In this she resembles one 
of the forms of Neith or Minerva. I had imagined this goddess 
to be the genius of the ' Eastern Bank,' opposed to another of 
similar character, whom I have called the 'Western Bank of 
the Nile ;' but the hieroglyphic legends appear to authorise the 
conclusion of her representing Egypt. A strong argument in 
support of this is also derived from her being put in opposition 
to the foreign nations with whom the Egyptians were at war. 
The character forming her name is the sceptre seen in the hands 
of the gods, erroneously said to be surmounted by the head of 
the Upupa ; a misconception into which Horapollo has also been 
led, as is evident from his considering that ' bird a fit ornament 
for the sceptres of the gods,' because it is the type of * gratitude.' 
But the head is that of a quadruped,^ not of a bird ; though 
easily mistaken for the Upupa when carelessly sculptured, or of 
a small size. Its being emblematic of purity makes it an 
appropriate characteristic of the divine nature, and it is very 
properly associated with the feather of TruiK 

The name of Egypt was Khemi, which, as I have already 
stated, bore a strong analogy to the word khami, * black ;' and both 
are sometimes written in the same manner by the hieroglyphic 

* According to Pierret (' Diet./ p. 496), the head is that of a dog, a harrier. It was 
called uas or t'dtn, and is generally but not exclusively carried by gods. — S. B» 


of a crocodile's tail,* which signified * black,* or at least had the 

force of Khf the initial of the word. Egypt was also called the 

^ ^ land of the tree ' and * of the eye * 

^m /^^^ (^^ Osiris).* The last two occur in 

^^H Bfc- Bfc- n|^ P^ the inscription of the Bosetta Stone, 

Q ^ w ^i^t^ as on otLer monuments, but the 

Ti.'crocodiie-.Jintben-ne'af fonucr are morc usual ou sculptOTes 
Ho. 166. Egypt, • Khun.' of an oarly penod. 

It is singular that no one of 
these groups is applied to, or enters 
among, the hieroglyphics of this 
goddess. There is, howeyer, a god 

oth.r\u*.ofwntingie name ^^"^ ^™ ^ represent Egypt, or 
No. 666. of igypt. Khemi, on whose head the crocodile's 

tail is placed ; but he is of late date, and only found in monu- 
ments of a Ptolemaic or Boman epoch. He performs the office 
of steersman of the boat of Atum, in the place of Horus, That 
Egypt was called Eham in the earliest times is eyident from the 
sculptures : but the name Egypt is not found in the hieroglyphics; 
nor do we find that of Aeria, by which some pretend it was known 
at a very remote period.* 

There is a goddess who may either be the west bank of the 
riyer, or the West generally, opposed to the goddess who represents 
the East, whose name is preceded by the same signs,^ 
and generally followed by the annexed hierc^lyphic 
ll^jk signifying ^mountain.' This was evidently borrowed 
- -T from the circumstance of the valley of the Nile being 
bordered on one side by the Libyan, on the other 
by the Arabian hills : as the mode of representing a ^formpn 
land ' by a mountain originated in the distinction of the level 
plain of the Egyptian valley, and the hilly country of Syria or 
other foreign lands. 

I have also met with the goddesses of the East and West, 
each bearing on her head her peculiar emblem raised upcm 9 
perch. In these the table of ofierings denotes the former ; an( 
the hawk on a perch, with the ostrich-feather before it^ f 
indicative of the West. 

The goddess at^. 4, Plate XLI., is styled * the West, Quer 

' Horapollo (Hierog. i. 70) says, * A crocodile's Uil signifies darkness ;' in Cof 

' Of the sycamore and the symbolic eye. — S. B. 

' AoL Gell. zir. 6. * Set abt. The name of land is mL 



of Heaven, Directreas of tlie Gods ;' and she frequently wears her 

araal emblems placed on another signifying 'cultivated land.' 

To Athor is sometimes given the same hawk seated on a perch, 

in her ohatacter of President of the Western Motmtain. Her 

office is evidently connected with the dead, as is that of Athor, 

when she assumes these attribntes ; probably in conaeqnence of 

the western district or monntain, particularly at Thebes and 

Memphis, being looked upon as the 

abode of the dead. She may also be 

a type of Hades or Amenti, the resem- 

blimce between which name and the 

West, Ement, is consistent with its 

■apposed connection with the lower 

t^ons, as I have already had occa- 

■ioD to observe. The funeral rituals 

rf the papyri frequently represent 

font rudders, each of which is applied 

to the four cardinal points, designated ^o- " 

« rodders of the S., N.. W., and E. 

This division was of thf earliest date in Egypt, being mentioned 

in the oldest monmnents that exist. The expression 'S., K., W., 

tttd £.' signified the whole world ; as in the Coronation ceremony, 

*here the carrier pigeons are ordered to fly to those four points, 

lo prcNslaim that the king has assumed the crown. They in like 

ttiaiuier divided the world into four quarters : one being Egypt ; 

*Qother the South, or region of the Blacks ; a third the East, 

*4 the Asiatic country; and the fourth the Xorth, comprising 

^yria, Asia Minor, and probably Europe. 

It appears that the expression ' conqueror of the nine regions ' 
signified 'of the remaining three parts of the world,* Egypt 
^taelf completing the whole number twelve, and three being the 
*ign of plurality for each set, in the sense of ' the regions.* 

The name of the goddess in Plate XLIL appears to read 
Setkh ' or Sefekh ; and these letters are followed by demonstra- 
"tiTe signs, which are intended to represent horns. From her 
Qtnployment, noting on the palm-branch of Thoth the years of 
Vmnaa life, and from her title, * Lady of Letters,' she appears also 
V> be the goddess of writing. She may perhaps be a deification 


1 -pM UT all U mind th* Htbrev 
■"*jfc.W«').*t"C0Mll'or 'writ.,' 

th* Sofii of P*ni> ; or tb« OrMk ira^fa, 
* wudam ;' tfaonfh withant being relatad to 
■Df au at thtin. 


^^y^: tttm 










of jpasfik or kmguage. Bat her hieroglyphics read sefh or sofkh, 
ud not mkk^^ * writing ;* nor does the word BOffi,^ * a tongue/ 
ittswer to the characters they present Like Thoth, she registers 
the erente of man's life, and bears a palm-branch with the 
emUenis signifying ' halls of assembly ;' marking on it at the 
time the years of the king's life, or the number of pane- 
Mi which he had been proclaimed. 
It is not impossible that these assemblies were the origin of 
tl^« title ' Lord of Triakontaeterides/ given to Ptolemy on the 
Boisetta Stone; but from the number which Thoth and this 
g^oddesB are sometimes marking upon the palm-branches, it is 
e'vident they could not refer to games celebrated every thirtieth 
yeiar. Nor could Ptolemy have been entitled to a jubilee of 
timty years, since he only reigned twenty-one. Indeed, we are 
isnorant of the exact meaning of the title, though it probably 
vefen to the years of the assemblies recorded by these deities, 
whatever may have been the method by which they were com- 
peted. Ptah, the creative power, appears to have been the 
i^Xj to whom they were particularly consecrated ; since in the 
1^^ titles the king is styled * Lord of the Assemblies, like his 
Mier PtaL' This goddess is represented at the Slemnonium 
vriting the name of Rameses the Great on the fruit of the 
I^«iea»tree, und*«r whose shade the king is seated, in the 
pvetenoe of Thoth an<l Atum.' She is generally clad in a 
'«upard-«kin ; an<l on her head she bears a radiating oniament, 
pecaliarly appropriated to her, over which are eow*8 horns turned 

The goddess S<*Ik is distinguished by the scorpion, her 
^^blem, which is usually bound ujxm her head. Her oflioe 
^<«msto have Ix^en principally in the rcpons of Anienti, where 
^ike has sometimes, in lieu of a human hea<l, a nymliol very 
^Varly resembling the hierop^lyphic chanirt«*r si<;nifying * wife ;' 
\i the scoq)ion, her embh'ni, even <M*curs with the legend 
bit 8elk.' In the hi«*roglyphics of a Th«*ban mummy-case 

' PU&caI.IH. The Brriiinp»Dyiot( ID- 
are ik€ aiMrvM^^ of * Srffkh, mi*- 
«f wntiBK. •Iimtir«« lif th«> library.* 
MVK, *t au||^«ot t«i thr« million* tif 
Var ifar» v\mm parth all in the account.' 
^ImA tays * I graat thr name tu be fmrn 
^A* Mm wf t^ heaven |»lacvil un the noble 
(^OMa.* Tom or Atam, lunl of UeliopulU, 

Kiys, * I write thr name ufton the noble 
iVro^a bv the writini: of my own tini^rr*. 
I arrange thrm to th(>e whilf thou n|ioD 
rarth art kin^ «»n my thntm*. Thi*u art for 
the time of thf h**ii\fU. Mav thr name 
vi»«turv fur erer.* Aiiifn-ra, lord of the 
|mrtiiular chA|N*l, mvs *I watrh oTerthe 
plai-ioK of thy name f«ir errr tirin on the 
great rcnea/'— 6. U. 



[Cau. Z1 

preserved at Bodrhydd&u, Z have fonnd tiiia goddess called I 
' daughter of the son.'* 

The name and form of the deity .^^Bciilapiiis * were £ 
aacertained by Mr. Salt, at Philee, where a small sanctnaiy « 
a Greek inscription is dedicated to him.* His dress is ^wi 
very simple, though not one of the great gods of Egypt ; agree! 

with the description given of him by Synesius.* He is bald 
wears a small cap fitting closely to his head, without any featt 
or other ornament ; and in his band be holds the sceptte i 
crvas artaata, or sign of life, common to all the deities, 
name reads Aiemhotep ; but be cannot bear any relatioiu 
to the ' leader of the heavetdy deities ' mentioned by lambliol 

> Sh« li loppoMd to turn betu ■ form of apU. — O. W.] 

bit. — S. B. * Th«r< «u to AikleptloD, or ■ 

■ [Jkblonikt njt fwmUptui wm oUtd temple of Suvfdi, In tbt S«np«iim >t ) 

Imonthei flfu^i) ; uid thiuki Um Sar- phii. — 3. B. * SjriiM. In Eumb. ( 


vvlio WM teoond only to Eicbm^ the great ineffable god and 
m exemplar.* 
The Egyptian Aaclepios was called 'the 8on of Ptah;* he 
theiefore greatly reyered at Memphis^ and, indeed, throngh- 
t the whole country. The Egyptians acknowledged two of 
iAb^Is name ; the first, the grandfather of the other, according to 
tSm^ Greeks, and the reputed inventor of medicine, who receiyed 
pcs-^mliar honours on ^ a certain mountain on the Libyan side of 
Nile, near the City of Crocodiles,' where he was ' reported to 
TO been buried.' Ammianus Marcellinus ^ says that ' Memphis 
the presence of the god iEsculapius ;' and the sculptures 
•bcjw that he held a post amongst the contemplar gods of Upper 
sx^d Lower Egypt, from FhilsD to the Delta. He occurs more 
firtequently in temples of a Ptolemaic than of a Pharaonic epoch. 
l>mfflAscius, in the Life of Isidorus, says, ^The Asclepius of 
Berjtus of Syria is neither Greek nor Egyptian, but of Phoe- 
uciaa origin; for sons were bom to Sadyk, called Dioscuri 
sad CaUri, and the eighth of these was Esmun,' who is inter- 
pt^fdd Asclepius.* But it is highly improbable that the Egyp- 
tian deity was borrowed from Phoenicia; and the only point 
of resemblance (if we may belieye the authority of Herodotus 
in 10 diflScult a question) is the fact of Asclepius being the 
«m of Ptah, and the Cabiri being, according to Herodotus, 
iOQt of Vulcan. 

Aooording to Macrobius,' he was * the beneficent influence of 
die nm, which was thought to penrade the souls of men ;' but as 
^ sooords not with his appellation ' son of Ptah,' I am rather 
u^liaed to consider him that healing and presenring power of 
^ Creator (Ptah) which ayerted calamities and illness from 
BMnkind. There is no appearance of the serpent haying been 
%red to him, as to the Greek god of medicine ; nor are the cock, 
^ riTen, or the dog, found among his emblems on the monuments 
of Egypt. It is, however, prc^bable that the serpent in after- 
tisfls was admitted as the symbol of the Egyptian as well as the 
Gtsek .^scuUpius ; the record of which appears to show itself in 
the snake of Sheikh Hereedee, a Moslem saint of Upper Egypt, 
vito b still thought to appear under that form, and to cure the 
faasca of his votaries. 

The deity Pe has sometimes been eonfounde<l with Nut, the 
Mher of Osiris, from her having the firmament as her emblem. 

lUrc ixii. U. • Which flfaifiM tf^Al. • lUcroh. Satan, t 23. 



[Gh&t. xm. 

She was a deification of heaven itself, or that part of the firmament 
in which the stars were placed. She is sometimes represented 
nnder the form of thd hieroglyphic chsracter signifying ' the 
heavens ' studded with stars ; and sometimes as a hnman figure, 
whose body, as it bends forward with oatspread arms, appears 
to overshadow the earth and encompass it, in imitation of the 
vault of heaven reaching from one side of the horizon to the 



^Ht|4^ * -^ -k -k -k -k ^^^ 

IT Ibe hmrtD. vlth ttae mm ud ) 

. Thfl flgon bomth li Seh. 

other. In this posture she encloses the zodiacs, as at Esaeh and 

Her name Fe, or with the feminine article, Tpe, signifies in 
Coptic ' the heaven ;' which ^rees with the statement of Hor- 
apollo, before cited, that the Egyptians considered the heaven 
feminine, contrary to the custom of the Greeks. 

The uppermost part of the compartments sculptured on 
Egyptian monuments is generally crowned by her emblem, 
representing the heaven, instances of which are given in the 
plates of this Pantheon. 

The hieroglyphic name of the deity Nilns appears to be 

Chutf. Xm.] HAPI OB NILUa 207 

fibipi-Maii.^ The Coptic word mau signifies ^ water/ but the 
ifoport of the prefix Hapi is uncertain. To the god Nilus, and 
to one of the genii of Amenti, the name Ilapi, or Apis, is 
eoniuimly applied, as well as to the sacred bull of l^Iemphis. 
Plutarch ' thinks ' the Mendesian goat was also called Apis ;* but 
I cannot suppose that he has confounded the river-god with 
Egyptian Pan ; nor can we readily account for a similar 
ption in regard to the cynocephalus-headed genius of 
though the connection between Nilus and SaropM, 
ntioned by Martianus Capella, may haye originated in the 
El^yplian name of Hapi} 

Nilns is frequently represented binding the throne of the 

ifconairhs with the stalks of two water-plants, one indicating the 

Aomiiiioii of the Upper, the other of the Lower Country ; and in 

tlie compartments which form the basement of the sculptured 

Walls of the temples he brings offerings of yarious kinds, 

Specially fruits and flowers, the produce of the beneficent 

influence of the Nile water. Thoth frequently assists him on 

die Conner occasion ; and this allegorical subject may signify 

thst the throne is indebted for its support to the intellectual and 

pkjiieal gifts of the deity. He is figured as a fat man, of a blue 

cotoUy with water-plants growing from his head ; and he holds 

ia his hands their stalks and flowers, or water-jars, indicative 

f'the inundation. It is remarkable that the name Nilus accords 

*^ spUy with the colour given him by the Kgyptian artists. 

^i, or ned^ is the word which still signifies ' blue ' in many 

Ciiten languages. The A77ghaut, or Hue mountains ; the Nilab, 

9 Uiie river, applied to the Indus ; nedehj the name of indigo in 

Egypt and other Eastern countries — sufiice to show the general 

^ of this word ; and its application to the river of Egypt was 

ft«sistent with the custom of calling those large rivers Uue^ which 

^ the depth of their water frequently api>ear of that colour. 

I have elsewhere observed that the term azrek, applitnl to the 
^titeni branch of the Nile, which comes from the lake I)embt>a, 
ut Abyssinia, properly signifies Uaeh^ in op{)08ition to the Abiad^ 

I ? rri^'^!^. or HaM only that Ar*»elou» no«l "then (»« -f:imn, V«r. lli^t, 
\ 15=^ »^^^ Q >v Q ii. 3:i, kv.y—G. W.] 

4itfer-otlr. but rradiofc Hapi. Thf Onlrim.* (t^otH by Prirhani. Mrthnl. 

^•tHspi, *Nila«/ an«I th« bull->;fMl Hii|ii p. Hit.) Th«p zi|C»t: lint^ which J«>llow 

* Api^ rrcall th« Ore«k repreinrntatioB of rrcall thi* won! him, whirh Hormpollo mv* 
I nttr wmia thm iam of a ball, lika tht wm ApplicU U> tba ummJahtm, 





Chap. XIIL] NILUS. 209 

or white riyer ; for though dzreh also implies dark hlue^ it has not 
that signification when opposed to white. In proof of which it 
is only necessary to add, that a Uaeh horse is styled azreh as well 
as cLswedf and the same term is applied to anything in the sense 
of our *jet black.' 

At Silsilis this deity was worshipped as the third member of 

a triad composed of Ba, Ptah, and Nilus — the sun, the creatiye 

power, and the riyer; the last being, as the third person in 

these triads always was, the result of the other two. It is 

probable that the marked respect with which he was tiiere 

inyoked arose from the peculiar protection they desired of him, 

when the blocks hewn in the quarries of Silsilis, for the temples 

of Upper and Lower Egypt, were committed to the charge of 

the stream that was to conyey them to their different destina* 

tions. In the Temple of Luxor at Thebes are two figures of 

this deity, one of a blue, the other of a red hue, to whom the 

edacation of the infant Amenophis III., the son of Queen Mut- 

em-Sua, and another child, are supposed to haye been entrusted. 

The children are carried in the arms of the red-coloured deity ; 

ttid the other follows behind, carrying the sacred taus, or emblems 

of life. The former is probably intended to indicate the turbid 

appearance of the Nile during the inundation (rather than, as 

I had supposed, the land it irrigates) ; and the latter, of a blue 

colour, the limpid stream of the riyer when confined within its 

banks. At Phil® a figure of the god Nilus is represented seated 

beneath the rocks of the cataract, holding hydriee^ or jars, in his 

bands, from which he pours forth water, emblematic of the 

inundation. A snake surrounds his abode, and. on the rocks 

aboTe are perched a hawk and yulture. That the water-jar was 

iikdieatiye of the inundation we learn from HorapoUo ; and in 

oonaeqaence of the Nile being considered ' the efBux of Osiris,' 

Plutarch says, 'a water-pitcher was always carried first in the 

>acied processions in honour of that god.'^ The connection 

between the god Nilus and Osiris probably led to the notion, as 

the {wm of the corpulent deity of the Egyptians to the figure, 

rf the Greek Silenus, the nurse of Bacchus. At the city of 

«ilopoUg,* situated in the proyince of Arcadia, a splendid temple 

^tt defeated to the god Nilus. Other towns of Egypt also 

^hwted his worship with proper honours; and from an 

^•emtion of Herodotus it is eyident that in all those situated 

* n^t. 4t Uid. 1. 63w « Stephan. de Urb. in voce Ktlkot. 

^OUUI. p 




on the banks of the riyer, certain priests weie exclusiyeL^ 
appointed to the service of this deity. * If/ says the historian ^ 
* the body of an Egyptian or eyen of a foreigner is found at tlw 
riyer-side, whether carried away by a crocodile or drowned in th 
stream, the neighbouring town is obliged to embalm it in th 
most splendid manner, and deposit it in the sacred sepulchres 
No one, not eyen a friend or relation of the deceased, is allowed 
to touch it : the priests of the Nile alone haye this privilege 
and they bury it with their own hands, as if it were something 
more than a human corpse/ ^ 

The frequent occurrence of the name of Thebes in thi 
hieroglyphic legends of its temples, led to the discovery of thi 
goddess of the city ; and during my stay there in 1828, whili 
examining the various contemplar deities in the temple of Amei 
at £amak, I observed that Thebes had a guardian genius o: 
goddess of the same name. She was called ' Ap, or Ap^ th< 
potent Mother of the Gods/ The name Ap, Aph, or Ap^ 
written phonetically, is followed by a symbolic character, of tii< 
same sound, which is no other than tiie demonstrative sign o 
the preceding word ; and the goddess sometimes wears this las 
on her head, together with the globe and horns of Athor, he 
usual head-dress. Sometimes she holds in her hands the staff o 
purity, sometimes the water-plant sceptre common to all th* 

The symbolic character above mentioned firequently occur 
in the names of individuals, as in Fetamenop^, or FetamenopJ 

and is also put alone for Thebei 

followed by the sign of ' land.' The formation of the name of th 
city and its corruption into Thebes are singular. The origins 
word is Ap or Ap6, like the Coptic apSy * head ' or * capitaL' 
With the feminine article t, by which in the hieroglyphics it i 
always followed, it becomes Tape, or * the Ap^ ; * and this bein 
pronounced by the Egyptians, as by the Copts, Taba,* and i 

> Herodot. ii. 90. 

' Hymns in honour of the Nile, besides 
mentioning the special benefits he confers 
on £gypt, in bringing corn and other 
things, also state that no temple is dedi- 
ca^ to him, and identify him with Amen. 
Ptah and Kabes are identified with him. 
Sacrifices were offered to him. (Canon 
Cooke, in * Records of the Past,' iv. p. 14.) 

But the house of the Kile is mentioiMd 
the great papyrus of Ramesea IIL (< B«oor 
of the Past,* ri. p. 66, riii. p. 39); m al 
the * statues of Repa, the wife of the NU 
(vi. p. 69).— S. B. 

■ It means * crib ' or * manger.' — S. B. 

* It is possible that the name of Tapl 
in Nubia was taken from the capital 
Upper Egypt. 

Chap. Xm.] GENIUS OP THEBES. 211 

Lower Egypt Thaba, the Memphitic dialect substituting th for 
ty was readily oonyerted into Thebes. For this dialect being 
preyalent in the part of the country mostly frequented by the 
Greeks, Thaba was the name by which the city was usually 
known to them ; and Thaba was too near the Greek not to be 
oonyerted into their ThebaL 

The idea that Thebes was deriyed from Theba or Thebh,^ the 
'ark/ is eyidently erroneous, and on a par with those etymo- 
logical fancies which trace from Noah the word naus^ nauta, and 
navy ; or with that of the learned in Soodan, who find in their 
Semoo the Bur-nooh^ or * the land of Noah.' 

Pliny' and Juyenal^ haye both giyen Thebe as a singular 

^ord, adhering more closely to the Egyptian original. Amunei, 

^the abode of Amen/ has been translated Diospolis; and the 

Scriptural name No, or No Amun, appears to haye the same 

import, unless No was applied to the whole of the Thebaid. I 

Xiad formerly imagined that Papa was corrupted from Tap^, 

pedally as the Itinerary places it only on the western bank, 

d that it was confined to the Necropolis; but the frequent 

^sccurrence of the name on either side of the riyer leayes no 

«3oubt of the city of Thebes being all called Tap^. The title 

^^hich follows the name, ' land of thrones,' probably refers to its 

l^eing the royal seat from olden times, as well as the capital 

i Upper Egypt Of Pathyris, the western portion of Thebes, 

haye already spoken. 

Other cities as well as Thebes had their peculiar genius ; and 

subtle, as I haye already shown, were the diyisions of the 

XHiyine Spirit which was thought to peryade the uniyerse, that 

^^ery month and day, as Herodotus obseryes, were consecrated 

^ a particular deity ; or, more properly speaking, eyery month, 

^ay, and hour had its own genius or spirit, which was looked 

^pon as a diyine emanation. It was according to the fayourable 

ot unJEtyourable influence of these, that they predicted concem- 

Vig the future eyents of the life of an indiyidual from the day 

^ his birth : ' his good or bad fortune were thence foretold, as 

^ell as the part he was about to perform in after-life, and the 

^ of death which would terminate his career.'^ We are there- 

^ not surprised to find eyery city of Egypt with its peculiar 

'r\^ Til. word is the same as the ^JJ*^^*: J'^^ radicaUy different from 

HTpUaB, whkli meant a box, basket, or ' Plin. r. 9. * Jar. Sat. xr, 6. 

^aad ia tkawM as «96, a seal or closed * Herodot. ii. 82. 

P 2 














ktf. Xm.] GENIUS OF THE LAND. 213 

as well as a presiding deity ; though the respect paid to 
I did not extend beyond the precincts of the town, or the 
\fomB to which it belonged. 

The name of Tentyris, where Athor was particularly wor- 
hi^Md, was probably a modification of Thy-n-athor (shortened 
ilo Tynator and Tentore), signifying the abode of Athor. The 
SofpCic name is Tentore. The hieroglyphic legend of the god- 
Im» the genius of the place, presents the name of the town ; 
■d this group is generally added to her head-dress, followed 
nm by the sign * land.* 

The genius of the Mand'^ was represented as a goddess, 
Wiring on her head the symbolic hieroglyphics signifying 
'Ind ' and * cultiyated country.' She was styled * Mother of all 
the Regions,' and may therefore be considered an abstract notion 
ifplying to the earth generally, or to Egypt as the mother and 

It must be confessed that Earth, the great mother, ought to 
Ud a more important post in the mythology of Egypt than the 
kkf before us, howeyer low might be the rank of physical 
Eje cts compared to that of the great gods of their Pantheon. 
Ik Greeks considered the earth as the mother, as the heaven 
Wthe Cither of all;* and Varro' supposes them to have been 
fts chief deities. But when he tells us they were the same as 
hngiB and Isis in Egypt, he betrays great ignorance of the 
•I^^OD of that country. It is probable that the Greeks paid 
much greater honours than they received in Egypt, where 
is reason to believe the earth was only revered as the 
idea of a combination with the divine power for the 
of the creative agency. 
The goddess Rannu, represented with the head of an asp, is 
mumn in the oldest temples. She is frequently employed as 
be nrse of the young princes, whose early education was 
to be entrusted to her care, and she presidetl over 
as well as the god Khem. Athor and Mut are also re- 
ted suckling the young princes in temples of the oldest 
; and instances occur of the former under the form of a 
her emblem, performing the same ofiice for the young 
But this was more particularly the part of the asi>- 

^ Ihi kmf Ijpkk lappoMd to be « kind of the wonl imta^ * town ' or * Tillage.* The 

'flfeier bHOUt u foand In the teit* at word bak ie nrely fuund. — S. H. 
of the name of all Efjptian • Plat, de IMac. l*hiliiK»ph. i. C. 

It ia aiao dettrminatire * Varro, da Liag. Lat. lib. ir. Ac 


headed Bannu. This goddess was also represented under the 
form of an asp, crowned with long feathers and a disk and 
horns, or as a female figure bearing an asp npon her head, which, 
as I have abeady observed, was sacred to her, as to the god 
Ghnoumis, and which was probably the Agathodaemon of 

There is another asp-headed goddess, whose name is written 
Hoph, or T-hoph, which calls to mind the snake EejL The 
Coptic word hof signifies the viper, analogous to the hye of the 
Arabs. She has some office in Amenti, but does not appear to 
be related to the deity before us. 

The snake Bai also appears to have been figured as a goddess, 
and sometimes under its own form, as guardian of the doorways 
of those chambers of the tombs which represent the mansions 
of heaven. 

Another snake-headed goddess has the name Heh, or Hih.^ 
She occurs at Denderah and Fhilse. I am not aware of her o£Bce. 
Other goddesses with the head of a snake occur in the chamber 
of Osiris at Philse ; but as their office relates to the dead, they 
may only be connected with the genii of AmentL 

From the palm-branch which the goddess Benpi bears on 
her head, I have supposed her to denote the year, which in 
Egyptian is called Benpa, and in Coptic rompi, though from the 
comparison of different legends it appears that her name in the 
hieroglyphics does not read Benpa, but Bpe, which resembles 
the word erpe, * a temple.' The palm-branch, however, favours 
the conjecture that she represented the deified notion of the 

In her hand she holds the usual sceptre of the goddesses, 
and sometimes a pakn-branch, with the emblems of a hundred 
thousand years, as well as the figurative sign of the assemblies, 
which marked fixed periods of time. 

The deity of a month may very properly be considered Thoth, 
or the moon ; but the figures representing some other divisions 
of time, as well as the three seasons, are still unknown. 

The goddess Ament, who frequently occurs at Thebes, has 
been considered a female Amen ; the only difference between 
her name and that of the Egyptian Jupiter being the addition ol 
the female sign, or article, t. She is also styled * the President 

* The name of this goddess means « long She is called ' maker of inrisible, erettor (M 
period of time, more than a cycle and less visible beings.' — S. B. 
than eternity, such as an aion or * age.' 


of Thebes.' She wears the crown of the Lower Country, like the 
goddess Neith, and she sometimes bears in either hand the sign 
of * water.' From her name she might be mistaken for the West, 
Ement, or the lower regions, AmentL But the absence of the 
demonstrative signs indicating either of them 8u£Sciently contra- 
dicts this opinion : and from her rank as second member of the 
second Theban triad, composed of Amen Generator, Tamen, and 
Harka, it is evident that her character and office were very 
different from either of those two. She may be one of the forms 
of the Egyptian Minerva.* 

From the hieroglyphics of the goddess Nebhotep we may 
suppose her to represent the abstract idea of dominion ; and the 
presence of the vulture and asp together on her head-dress may 
perhaps tend to confirm this opinion, though they were not ex- 
clusively appropriated to her. She also wears the globe and 
horns of Athor in common with many other goddesses. Her 
name occurs in the temple of Bameses III. at Medeenet Haboo : 
she is therefore of an early Pharaonic age.^ 

Besides the sacred cow of Athor, was another, supposed by 
the learned Kircher to be dedicated to the moon, whom he 
considers the same as Isis ; but from the hieroglyphic legend 
given by ChampoUion, in which she is styled ' Genetrix of the 
Sun,' she seems rather to be the darkness of Chaos, * which was 
upon the face of the deep,' and from which sprang the light of 
the sun. He therefore supposes her to be one of the characters 
of Buto, though, from a legend accompanying another figure he 
gives of the same cow, it appears that she was sometimes identi- 
fied with Neith, whose name precedes that of Aha. She is some- 
times represented as a female figure with a cow's head, and the 
globe and horns of Athor surmounted by two ostrich-plumes ; 
and her name Aha, *the Cow,' is followed by its figurative 
hieroglyphic, or demonstrative sign. The name Aha was 
evidently the origin of the Greek lo, though I am inclined to 
think that persecuted wanderer to be derived from the history 
and emblem of Athor, or from Isis, rather than from the goddess 
before us.* 

The consecration of every month and day to a particular 
deity, mentioned by Herodotus, is more than confirmed by the 

» Her tjrpe is that of Neith.— S. B. of offering/— S. B. 

' This goddess is one of the parhedral ' Enstathins says, < To, in the Uiig«jig«of 

deities of Heliopolis associated with Ra and the Argires, is the moon.' (Jablonski, ii.c. 1, 

Turn. Her name means * lady of peace, or p. 7 ; and supru^ p. 166, on Thoth.) 


&ct of our finding the hours themselves treated as divinities. 
Bat it is possible that the statement of the historian may only 
refer to the ahnanaes, where, according to GhsBremon, the names 
of the gods appeared affixed to each day, in the same manner as 
those of saints in modem calendars. According to the Egyptian 
system, the hours were not merely dedicated to particular 
deities: each was considered a peculiar genius in itself, a 
minute fraction of the divine essence which pervaded it; 
and, if not worshipped with the same honours as the superior 
gods, prayers were addressed to them with the hope of 
rendering them favourable to the individual who invoked their 
fldd. The hours are frequently found in tombs and on sarco* 
phagi, where the deceased is represented either praying or 
making an offering to each in succession, beginning with the 
first and terminating with the twelfth hour, both of day and 
night From not finding them in any temple, I suppose 
that their introduction implies a review of the hourly occupa- 
tions of the individual during his life, and that these deities 
or genii were principally connected with the final ordeal of 
the dead. 

[The hours, Plate XL VII., were called in Egyptian Unnu, a 
word meaning 'apparent, visible, or actual,' and the word is 
^ttoi in various manners. Each hour of the day and night 
had a name, as will be seen in the accompanying plate of those 
there represented. They bore on their heads stars, showing that 
the division of time was sidereal, and they held the tMS, or 
Keptie, and emblem of life. — S. B.] 

The first of those here introduced. No. 7, is the eighth hour of 
^, No. 6 the twelfth hour, No. 5 the tenth hour, and No. 8 the 
tenth hour of nighi ; which last is written phonetically Jcurh^ the 
Coptic eijark^ 'night.' Macrobius' supposes that Apollo, being 
called Horas by the Egyptians, ' gave his name to the twenty- 
foor Aourt of day and night, as to the four seasons, during which 
he completes his annual course;' and the same is stated by 
IKodoms' to be the opinion of some of the Greeks. 

The three figures of hawk and jackal-headed deities on Plate 
XLVn., No. 4, are common in the tombs of Thebes, but I do not 

* 62l(A)p^. The Coptic letter jS,, is ftlwaTs soft. It is, however, supposed 

|i"|», b a hwd ^, mnd not dj ; and from *I;»*JV ^" originally hard in Arabic, Uke 

^ the Cairenea hare probably derired ***! Hebrew (^. 

te kaid prtmnneUtioD of the Arabic g- l ^^r^'.^J^"^' ^'^' *' ^ 26. 

IK or g, whidi in AzabU and other placa ' ^<^°'- »* ^6. 


know their oflSce. Two large figures of the hawk-headed deity, 

with similar hieroglyphic legends, are conducting, together with 

the jackal-headed and other deities, Barneses III. into the 

presence of the god of the temple at Medeenet Haboo. These 

kneeling figures seem to be beating themselves in the manner 

tlie Egyptians arc said by Herodotus to have done (in honour of 

Oairis), and as Athenagoras tells us was the custom at all the 

great festivals celebrated in the temples. They are sometimes 

represented in the same attitude before the god Atum ; and from 

their hieroglyphic legend we may suppose them to be the spirits 

who pervaded the earth.^ 

The four genii of the lower regions on Plate XLYIII. perform 
^ oiHispicuuus {Nirt in the ceremonies of the dead. They are present 
heiiire Osiris while presiding in judgment, and every individual 
vko pafl8e<l into a future state was protected by their influence. 
When a luidy was embalmed, the intestines were taken out and 
dirided into several portions, each being dedicated to one of 
dtte deities ; and they were either deposited in vases,' which 
kre their res{H.H;tive heads, or were returned into the body 
•eeumpanie<l by these four figures. Amset, Hapi, Tuaut- 
Mntf, and Qabhsenuf, were their names. The first had the 
keid of a man,^ and was sometimes represented holding the stafi*, 
ad having the form of the other deities, but only in the tombs ; 
the second had the head of a cynocephalus a))e, the third of a 
JKkal, and the fourth of a hawk ; and, though differing from 
Ihem in form, thev cannot fail to call to mind the four beasts of 
the Revelation.^ They were generally in the form of mummies ; 
Vol they sometimes occur as human figures walking, and even 
€vrying the hxly of the dead, as in the chamber of Osiris at 
JULb, where they bear the deity to his tomb undor the form of 
Sodiaris. To Amset were dedicateil the stomach and large intes- 
tines; to Hapi the small intestines ; to Tuautmutf the lungs and 
Ittrt ; and to Qabhsenuf the liver and gall-bladder. This point 
long a dt*sideratum ; an<l though it was known that the four 
placed in the Egyptian tombs with the sarcc^pliagi, each 

' TWw spiriU are »Mr^«h**-l in tht pr«*t««Dc« of th« tun. Their name Wft« 

^Ilti Mmk llJth chipt«r« *>( tht Kituul. Ammu — S. U. 

tU^vt. 'Tti-ii./ liii.-xliii., c. Ill- ' TheM tasm have b««n ini|iro|iflrlT 

lli) Th« •I'lnt* of r« "r liutn an II(»rus ttrled canopi. 

aad ll«pi ; thini* of Meni, Hi»ru!i, * 1 hare fi<uD>l one Initanc^ of Anufi 

7intm-itf. an-l Qaibh^nuf. Acc«>nlin|{ In the fi*rfii «tf .1 woman, on a munimy-caa* 

^ M. 4* Rou^. the hawk-hea«lf 1 rppre- in the lirituh Museum. 
■Mtd tk» aiahta of tarth adoring ia * IUt. iT. 7. 


of vhiek bore the head of one of these genii, contained the 
intertiiies of the dead, no one had examined them with sufficient 
care to ascertain the exact portion in each. To Pettigrew we arc 
indebted for this interesting £eu;t ; and in introducing it I have 
much pleasure in paying a just tribute to the patience and zeal with 
which he conducted the examination, and in returning him my 
thanks for his communication upon the subject. I have already 
noticed the assertion of Plutarch, that the lilendesian goat had 
the same name as the sacred bull Apis ; and have shown that 
the only deities so called were the Memphite bull, the god Nilus, 
and one of the genii of Amenti. Though we may find a difficulty 
in accounting for such a misconception, it is more probable that 
this last, which was represented with the head of a cynocophalus, 
should have been mistaken for the animal he mentions than the 
god Nilus. And as he doubtless speaks from a vague report, 
originating in the ignorance of the Greeks, it is possible that 
the form of the ape-headed figure, added to the similarity of 
name, led to his error ; which, indeed, is not more inconsistent 
with truth than the belief of Herodotus that the god Pan was 
represented with the head and legs of a goat.^ One inference 
:3iiay perhaps be drawn from these erroneous statements — that 
Ithe name Apis, Hapi, signifies a 'genius' or 'emblem;' Apis 
"Aeing the 'genius,' or, as Plutarch calls it, 'the image of the 
^nnl' of Osiris. Hapimau may therefore be the genius of tlu) 
"Crater, or the Nile; and the cynocephalus-hearl^ Hapi, i\ui 
iUem of the terrestrial nature of man. This conjecture, 
verer, I ofier, with great diffidence, to the opinion of the 
earned reader. 

When the body of a person of quality was emlialme<l, the 

itestines were deposited in four rases of alal>aster, or otbr^r 

ly materials, according to the expense which the fri^fU'Is of 

deceased chose to incur. Some were contentefl with thtmti of 

heaper materials, as limestone, painted wood, or [Mitt^rry; but 

ail cases the eoTer of each vase was surmounted by th^f h<^a/i 

hs own peculiar deity, according to its cont^^nts. In <'fij- 

the bodies of poorer people, who eould nuA affonl thin 

the intestines, when properly cleans^^, were reinruti^l 

the boiT br the usual incision in the left sid<f, throu^rh 

■"^udi they had been extracted ; and the fig-uret* of th'r four y^^^-uVi, 

^^nttallr of wax. or aromatic ccmiposition, eureloped \u cloth, 


' BauAifA. iL 4». 


were introduced into the cavity. This was done with the same 
view of protecting the parts under their peculiar influence as 
when they were deposited in the vases. The aperture was after- 
wards closed, and covered with a leaden plate, on which they 
represented the symbolic eye, or sometimes the same four genii 
who were thought to preside within. But I shall have occasion 
to mention this hereafter in describing the funeral rites of the 
Egyptians, where I shall also notice the error of Porphyry 
respecting their throwing the intestines into the Nile. The 
hieroglyphic legends painted on the exterior of the vases alluded 
to the deity whose head they bore, and it is principally from 
these that their names have been ascertained.^ The goddess 
Selk is sometimes found accompanying the four genii, in the 
paintings of the tombs, and I have once found an instance of 
Tuautmutf with a human head. The name of Amenti, ^that 
subterraneous region whither they imagined the souls of the 
dead to go after their decease,'^ signified, according to Plutarch, 
* the receiver and giver ;' in which we may perhaps trace a proof 
of its being considered a temporary abode. The burial of arms 
and different objects of use or value with the body may also 
indicate their belief of a future return to earth, after a certain 
time, which is said by Herodotus to have been fixed at 3000 
years; though Plato gives this period to a philosopher, and 
10,000 to an ordinary individual. The resemblance of the names 
Amenti, * Hades,' and Ement, * the West,' is remarkable. This 
last was looked upon as the end, as the east was the beginning, 
of the world. There the sun was buried in the darkness of night, 
and there he was supposed allegorically to die and pass through 
another state, previous to his regeneration and reappearance 
upon earth, after each diurnal revolution. This analogy between 
them cannot fail to call to mind the similarity of the Hebrew 
word Ereby or Gharb,^ signifying * sunset,' or * the West,' and the 
Erebus of Greece. 

Clemens * says that ancient temples were turned towards the 
West ; but this was not the case in Egypt, where the points of 
the compass do not appear at any time to have been points of 
religion, at least as regards the position of their sacred buildings, 
no two of which are made to face exactly in the same direction. 

* In these sepulehral vases having the * Plat, de Isid. s. 29. 

shape of the deities the deceased was ' The Oharby * West,' of the Arabs ; andtf 

supposed to be in the shape of each deity. Europe is Arb or Qharb, * the West.' 
— S. B. * Clem. Strom, vii. 



Nor does his assertion/ that temples were formerly styled tombs, 
apply to those of the Egyptians.^ 

The number of the assessors who attended at the final judg- 
ment was forty-two. They frequently occur in funeral rituals, 
on sarcophagi, tombs, and papyri. I have also found them 
complete in the side adytum of a temple at Thebes, which, from 
the subjects there represented, appears to have been appropriated 
to funeral purposes. Diodorus^ speaks of ' Osiris and the assessors 
seated below him,' whose approbation King Osymandyas hoped 
to obtain after death by his piety, in presenting to the gods of 
Egypt such offerings as were peculiarly acceptable to them ; and 
the forty-two judges he mentions,^ at the sacred lake of the dead, 
were a type of those who, in the region of Amenti, pronounced 
their acquittal or condemnation of the soul, when it sought 
admittance to the Regions of the Blessed. 

These assessors were similar to the bench of judges who 

attended at the ordinary tribunals of the Egyptians, and whose 

prendentt or archjudge, corresponded to Osiris. They may 

perhaps call to mind the four-and-twenty elders mentioned in 

Beyelation,* as the four genii of Amenti appear to bear some 

analogy to the four beasts who were present with them before 

the judgment-seat. The assessors were represented in a human 

form with different heads. The first had the head of a hawk, the 

second of a man, the third of a hare, the fourth of a hippo- 

potamnSy the fifth of a man, the sixth of a hawk, the seventh 

of a fox, the eighth of a man, the ninth of a ram, the tenth of 

a snake, and the others according to their peculiar character. 

But to avoid a tedious detail, I refer the reader to the plate, 

from which it will be seen that they varied in different rituals, 

though the number, when complete, was always the same. 

They are supposed to represent the forty-two crimes from 
wUch a virtuous man was expected to be free when judged in a 
fotore state, or rather the accusing spirits, each of whom 
examined if the deceased was guilty of the peculiar one which 
it was his province to avenge. They were distinct from the 
thirtynrix dsemons mentioned by Origen. These presided over 
the human body, which was divided into the same number of 
partfl^ each appropriated to one of them ; and they were often 

' OmL Oni, Adhort. p. 19. * One (the Codex Coisliniantu) reading 

' ThcM fr«n tha children of Osiris. — gives 8^1 tAc(« tAv rt<r<rapdHorra (i. 29). 

^K * Rev. iv. 4, xix. 4, &c. 
> Diod. L 49, 92. 




invoked to cure the infirmities of the peculiar member imme- 
diately under their protection.^ 

There is a monster supposed to be the guardian of the Lower 
Regions, or the accusing spirit. It is more probably the 
former, being seated near the entrance to the abode of OnnSf 
and called Am-t-en-Amenti, Uhe Deyourer of Amenti,' and 'of 
the wicked.'^ It has the form of a hippopotamus, a peculiarly 
Typhonian animal ; sometimes with the head of a fancifol 
creature, partaking of the hippopotamus and the crocodile; 
and it is frequently represented as a female. Seated at the 
entrance of Amenti, it watches the arrival of those who present 
themselves for judgment, and, turning its hideous head with 
angry looks, appears to menace the wicked who dare to ap- 
proach the holy mansion of Osiris. This monster was the 
prototype of the Greek Cerberus; but the lively imaginatioaof 
the Greeks improved upon or exaggerated the deformity: its 
neck was said to bristle with snakes ; it was represented with 
three, or with fifty heads; and Virgil' and others describe its 
rapacity, and the terror it was supposed to cause. 

I now proceed to examine the form or attributes of thoae 
deities whose names are unknown. 

The first of these is a goddess (Plate JA.fig. 1), whose hienh 
glyphics appear to read Tanen. She wears the globe and bona 
of Athor, and is styled the Daughter of the Sun ; but her office 
is not defined. She is found in the old temples of a Phaxnonic 
age. Her function is obscure. Her name was the same aa one 
of the god Ptah. 

The next two figures of this plate (2 and 8) contain thoae of 
Tusaas, daughter of the sun, regent of Heliopolis, and allied with 
the worship of Ba and Tum. 

The name of the deity at fig. 4 reads Hu. His form and 
office are unknown. He occurs in temples of a Pharaonie age, 
the annexed figure being from Medeenet Haboo at Thebes. [He 
personifies food or taste, and is often seen in the boat of the son, 
allied with the god Sa. — S. B.] 

' These forty-two daemons formed part 
of the yij^ette of the 128th chapter of the 
Ritnal, and were present at the great 
judgment in the Hall of the Two Truths. 
Each of the forty-two had an appropriate 
name ■ as, 1. * Uammt, or devourer, pro- 
ceeding from Panopolis ;' 18. ' Nahabnefer, 
goodneck, proceeding from Heliopolis ;' 16. 
*■ Hi, aasistant, proceeding from the Nu, or 

Han, celestial ether;' 21. <Aiirei; MigiBf 
the month, proceeding frx>m Kanetar or 
Hell.* To each the deceased annoiiiieed he 
had not committed some sin.» S. Bw 

' The sign * wicked ' is a man kflling 
himself by beating his own head witk a 
hatchet or clob, according to GkanpoU 
lion's ingenions interpretation. 

» Virg. JEsk. Ti. 421. 




[Chap. XITT, 

The name of the god at Plate LL, fig. 5, is [Kabak, oi Sebok, 
of whom he appears to be a fonn as a representative of Seb, 
whose title he bears as ^Kabak, heir of the gods,' — S. B.] I have 
only met with him in temples of a late date, as at Denderah. 

[The following deity is a form of Tahuti-Aah, or Thoth Lunns, 
Thoth the Moon.— S. B.] He has the title * Euler of the Eighth 
great Kegion/ or Hermopolis, which seems to imply some con- 
nection with Thoth ; and he bears on his head the disk and 
crescent given to the moon. 

a^+= \^ 






2(0. 600. Form of Thoth. 

* Sheps' in Hennopolis, lord of Heaven.' 

No. 6tfl. 


'Satem in the abode of Shu Um boll, 
powerful lord.' 

The bull-headed deity (No. 561) appears to have the name 
Satem or Au ; which last signifies ' a bull/ since it frequently 
occurs over oxen, as the word Aha over cows. I do not, how- 
ever, suppose him to be connected with the god Au, previously 

Sept, or Soptet, appears to be the name of the deity in woodcut 

' He represents Saiem, or * Hearing' personified, the one resident in the houM of Sho, 
and has the title ' Lord of Victory.'— S. B. 


[Our. xnr. 

No. 562. His office is nnceitain. This flgnie is bom one of the 
tombs of the kings at Thebes. His hieroglyphics cell to mind 
those which follow the name of the god Eheba, the totU and the 
BpirUt 01 rvlert of the land. [This deity, Sapti or Sapfr-har, is 
a form of Osiiis or Horns, principally adored in the Egyptian 
possessions in Arabia, where he is called Lord of the East. He 
is supposed to be the entire Osiris, before his destrcction by 
Typhon, and is called in the texts of the tablets 'the greatest 
of the spirits of Heliopolis.' — S. B.] 


The goddess in woodcut No. 563 is represented norsing a 
child ; not as Tsis and Athor, but merely holding it on her hwid, 
as though it were entrusted to her charge. Her hieroglyphic 
consists of a shield crossed by two arrows, which she also bears 
on her head ; but I am ignorant of her name and office.^ 

The goddess represented in Plate 111., fig. 1, has the attri- 
butes of the goddess Ma, or Truth ; Jiff. 2 is one of the characters 

t Mat or Naith, tha Uring, giTing Ufa, tha datiBhtcT 



[Chap. XmZK 

of Isis, as the protecting deity who averts misfortunes fironi=fl 
mankind. Her hieroglyphic legend signifies defender/ and h 
the first line is the phonetic name of ' Isis.' She holds th< 
ostrich-feathers, the emblem of truth and justice, and her posi* J 
tion with outspread wings is similar to that of Isis when pro— ^ 
tecting her husband Osiris.^ 

Of the deity at Plate LII. fig. 3, 1 have been unable to ascer — " 
tain the name and office ; but from his having an emblem o^ « 

strength as his hieroglyphic, which he also bears upon his head 

he may be one of the forms of Gom, the Egyptian Hercules.' 

The name of the goddess at fi^s. 4 and 5 appears to les^iSM 
Naham-ua. She is styled ^ Mistress of the Eighths 
Begion [or Hermopolis], Dominatrix of Tentyris^^ 
from which place her figure and hieroglyphics ari^ 
copied. She is called * daughter of the sun.' Her 
head-dress consists of a shrine, from which water- 
plants are sometimes represented to rise, her head 
being covered by the body and wings of a vulture. 
In her hand she holds the usual sceptre of the 
goddesses. At the quarries of the Troici Lapidis 
Mons she occurs as the second member of a triad 
composed of Thoth, this goddess, and Horns or 
Aroeris. Mention is also made of the goddess Merti or Milt. 

The goddess at Plate LIII. fig. 1, is from one of the tombs of 
the kings at Thebes. Her name appears to read Mersekar, and 

I she is styled 'Buler of the 

fILs iPHCjt West,' or of Amenti, the 

lower regions. She wears 
the globe and horns of Athor, 
in common with many other 
goddesses ; and I have found 
an instance of her under the 
form of a winged asp, with the cap of the Lower Country, having 
the same appearance as the genius of Lower Egypt,^ and opposed 
in like manner to Eileithyia. 

The goddess Mert (fiff. 2) is frequently met with in the oldest 
temples, where she always accompanies the king when repre- 
sented running with a vase and the flagellum of Osiris in his 

* The legend reads, ' protectress of her 

No. 664. 


No. 5M. Fig. 1. MerMkar opposed to EUeitbyU, 

fig. 2. 


' He is called Heka, the great god resi- 
dent in some place. — S. B. 

' Her name means * loring to silence/ and 

she is often represented as a snake with a 
human head, wearing a disk and pliunM, 
and is called Regent of the West, and * the 
forehead of the western hearen, the plact 
of silence/ (Pierret, * Dict^ p. 346.)-S. B. 




hands, amidst various emblems. Hei name appears to be Milt, 
or Mert. In the lower regions she has sometimes the miited 
heads of a lion and crocodile, with the globe of Ba and the two 
long feathers of Amen ; but this figure is of rare oocunence^ and 
I believe only in funeral subjects, among the genii or minor 
deities connected with the dead. 

She usually bears on her head a cluster of the northern or 
southern water-plants, upon a cap terminating in a peculiar fim, 
at the back ; from which it might seem that she was more piiy 
ticularly connected with the Lower Country, those water-pliiitl 
being emblematic of that part of Egypt. Sometimes, however, 
she has those of Upper Egypt ; but the more frequent assump* 
tion of the former sufficiently proves that her name was not 
Mares,^ one of the appellations of the Thebaid. 

The name of the deity at Plate LIII. fig. 3, is uncertain. I 
had supposed her to represent Phut, or Libya ; but this opimon 
does not seem to be supported by subsequent observations. 9ie 
was one of the contemplar deities of Tentyris, and occurs also 
at Thebes ; but at Esneh her hieroglyphics are totally differeiii» 
or may, indeed, be of another goddess who has assumed her form 
and attributes.^ 

The snake-headed god at PL LIY. fi^. 1, seems to be idaied 
to Horus. His figure seldom occurs. This is from DendeiaL* 
I have seen some bronzes of the same god. 

The deity named Bas or Sas was probably one of the dtt- 
racters of Osiris. His name is sometimes followed by tha 
emblem of stability, sometimes by that of goodness— bodi 
belonging to Osiris, whose head-dress he wears. I have only 
met with him at Philae and Dendoor, in sculptures of a 
Ptolemaic or Boman period. 

The name of the goddess Ba-ta is composed of Ba, ' the sun,* 
and Ta, 'the world.' She is called 'Begent of the Gk)d89' and 
occurs in the oldest temples, wearing the globe and horns of Athor. 
At Tuot or Tuphium and Hermonthis she is the second member 
of the triad, of which Mentu is the principal divinity. 

^ Whence the modem Egyptian name 
M9r€eiy or Mereesee, given to the south 

' Her name, as also that of fg, 4, Plate 
LIII., is Ani or Peti. She is called * resident 
in Tentyris, mother-goddess, divine mother 
of Horus her son,' and * Ani the great pupil 
or eye of the sun in Tentyris.' She was a 
form of Hathor. The other goddess with 
spiral is tht distinct Tap&eii, 'danghter of 

the sun, pupil of the sun, lady of 
— S. B. 

' His titles describe him as * Horn \ 
of the North and South Couniriei, 
in Aahen[ru], the lord dwelling fa- ||m 
. . . , shining in the hills, placed in ilie.haflA 
Mat, taking his place in the boat MnL* 
He is <son of Ba, the first residtni ia «Im 
region of the tomb, great god ia • • . , 
ordering night and day.'— S. & 



The name of the god in Plate IN. y figs. 1, 4, 5, is l^eehpii: 
his form is very peculiar, and from his at^butes he claims the 
title of God of War. He is sometimes represented with a spear 
in his hand ; sometimes bearing in his left hand a speai and 
shield, while with the other he wields a battle-axe, as if in the 
act of striking ; a quiver full of arrows being suspended at his 
back. He wears the helmet or crown of the Upper Country, in 
front of which projects, in lieu of the usual asp, the head <tf an 
oryx, a gazelle, or a goat. He sometimes occurs with a goddesB, 
who, standing on a lion or on two crocodiles, holds out toiraids 
him two emblems resembling snakes with one hand, and with 
the other a bundle of lotus-flowers, apparently as an offeiing 
to the god E^em. Connected with this group are figures in 
the act of fighting, which would imply that the subject was 
emblematic of war. 

It may reasonably be supposed that the Egyptian Han did 
not hold a very high rank in their Pantheon. His chaiaoter was 
not connected with the operations of the deity ; nor did a god of 
war present any abstract notion of a divine attribute, unless it 
were as the avenging power. This, indeed, appears, as already 
stated, to have been represented by Mentu — ^in which character 
he probably answered to the Mars Ultor of Bome, and to the 
Ares mentioned by Hermapion in his inscription translated 
from the obelisk of Bameses. Beshpu occurs on tablets, but not 
in any of the temples of Egypt.* 

[The Asiatic goddess of war, Anta, Anath, and perhaps 
Anoutis (Plate LVI., fig. 1), was introduced at the time of the 
18th Dynasty, for none occur older than Amenophis L, and her 
worship chiefly flourished at that period. She formed part of a 
group of foreign deities introduced at the period. Amongst 
them was Baal, probably a form of Besa, as the Egyptian Besa 
is of common occurrence on the Phoenician scarabsei, and appears 
on the coins of the Island of Gaulos. Another deity mentioned 
in the papyri and texts is Astaruta or Ashtaroth, but her form 
has not been found represented on the monuments. 

Amongst the other varieties of inferior types is that of Sapt, 
lord of the land of Sat or Eastern foreigners, Uie desert, and lord 

^ The god Resbpu was an- Asiatic god, Ken or Eet, and Anta, the goddess of war. 

and represented the Reseph of the Phoeni- His titles are ' great god, lord of heaTen,' 

cians, and as Reseph Michal the Apollo and in this capacity he wears the Uppa 

Amyclsens of the Greeks. He is repre- crown, hut,^S, B. 
sented in the company of the goddess 



[Chap. XUL 

of the East (Plate LYL, fig. 2). The figure is from a stone 
tablet of the time of XTsertesen 11., found at the temple of 
Wddy GasooSy in the desert near Eossayr. 

The deity who is next represented is probably Anhar, or, 
as his name is given in the Greek papyri, Onouris. His name 
means 'conductor of the heaven/ and he generally wears a 
plume of four hawk's feathers on his head. He often has a 
cord in his hand. He is called by the Greeks Mars, and as 
a form of Shu is seen in conflict with the Aphdphis, the daily 
enemy of the sun, finally divided into birds, beasts, and fishes. 
— S. B.] 

The fourth figure has the name Menq, or Menqt, in her 
peaceable occupation of presenting two vases. She is probaUy 
a form of Sekhet or Bast. 

The lion-headed god in Plate LVll. is seldom met with in the 
Egyptian sculptures, and never, I believe, in temples of a yery 
early epoch. The first figure is from the temple of Dendrash, 
which is of Ptolemaic and Boman date; the second is ficom 
Dab6d, where he accompanies the god Amen, to whom a Cmnr 
is making offerings.^ He has a lion as his hieroglyphic. The 
second figure is called 'the great lion-god, very valiant.' The 
third [of Shun] has not a lion's head, but that animal is intro- 
duced as a demonstrative sign after his hieroglyphic name, 
which reads Shuu or Mui, signifying 'Lion.' The fourth has 
also a lion as the demonstrative sign, and may be the same as 
the last deity [and is called 'XTu, perhaps for Shuu, great son 
of Neith']. They are of late time ; and being copied fcom 
monuments imperfectly preserved, the legends are uncertain. 

The name of the goddess with a lion's head, fi^. 5, appears 
to read Ba.t; but I am ignorant of her character and o£Bo6. 
[She is called the * very great, the female Horus.'] 

The name of the goddess in Plate LYIII.^. 1, is uncertain. 
She has an eye upon her head ; and she sometimes stands in an 

* The name of this god is Mat'et, and he 
was one of the dflemons of the Egyptian 
Karneter or Hades. In chapter zvii. of the 
Ritual (Lepsius, *Todtenbuch/ iz. c. 17, 
1. 58), there is the following description of 
Mat'et on the night of the great punish- 
ment of the wicked, when they are dragged 
to the block and decapitated. Mat'et is 
stated to haye one head with [the feather 
of] Truth, and another with a hawk or three 
heads. His name is said to be Mat'et, and 

that he is in the house of Osiris, iliootli| 
with his hand, and invisible. He fo« 
round the world invisible, but with fin, m 
Hapi or the Nile has ordered him. Hi 
face is said to be that of a dog, wttl 
human eyebrows; also that he livee el 
the condemned, that at the pool of fire In 
poured forth the hearts and thmst out tk> 
corpses of the dead, and that hia name vi 
Eater of Millions in the waters of Poiut o 
SomaU.— S. B. 




Chap. XHT,] TAT-UN, NEBUQ, ETC. 239 

attitude of prayer, before other deities. She occurs iu temples 
of a Bomau aud Ptolemaic date, as at Edfoo. Though her office 
is unknown, she may have been a deity of some importance. 
[Her name is Sat, the same as that of the Eastern foreigners, and 
she is perhaps a form of Sati. She wears the right symbolic eye 
of the sun, Horus, or Shu. — S. B.] The eye she bears on her 
head is the same which enters into the name of Egypt, and 
holds a distinguished post in the ceremonies of the dead. It is 
frequently found in the tombs, made of stone or blue pottery ; 
and is painted on sarcophagi, boats, and fancy ornaments. 

[The deity Tat-un (Plate LVIII. fig. 2) is from the temple of 
Samneh, at the third cataract of the Nile, of the early time 
of Usertesen 11. He is called * Tat-un, who dwells in Eens or 
Kenous.'— S. B.] 

The name of the following goddess (Jiff. 3) is Nebuu. She is 
one of the contemplar deities of Esneh or Latopolis, and the 
lecond member of the triad worshipped there, which consisted of 
Chnomnis, this goddess, and their son Hake. She is a form 
ot Neith, the Egyptian Minerva, like the lion-headed goddess 
Xenhi, already mentioned. [She is styled in the inscriptions 
'Nebnu, pupil of the sun, over the great place and mistress 
rf Toierah.*— S. B.] 

The name and character of the next god (Jiff. 4) are of late 
date; [and from the titles following, his name appears to be 
A fonn of the god ' Seb,' as he bears the same titles, * heir of the 
gods, great god, maker of men.' — S. B.] 

The two gods si Jigs, 5 and 6 are forms of the youthful deity 
Ahi or Ahi-ur, the son of Athor, and the third member of the 
triad of Denderah, who has been already described. 

There is a god with the head of a hippopotamus, who may be 

one of the characters of the Egyptian Mars, the animal itself 

being worshipped at Papremis, the city of that deity.^ I have 

only found him so represented in small pottery figures, but 

neyer in the sculptures; though the hippopotamus-headed 

goddess occurs on monuments of early date. The connec- 

tioB, indeed, of the god Mars and this Typhonian animal is 


Heron I have supposed to correspond to Atum, and Antaeus 
to be Nubti, but of Perseus I have not yet been able to form 
any conjecture. Nor do I know if Busiris is a character of 

> Herodot. u. 59, 63, and 71. 

Chap. XIIL] 



OsiriSy or a separate deity. Of the form of Thoueris, the con- 
cubine of Typho, of Canopus, and of his supposed wife Menuthis, 
worshipped in a town of the same name,^ I am also ignorant ;^ 
as well as of the two deities of winter and summer, whose 
statues are said by Herodotus to have been erected by 

I have not introduced the minor diyinities who held vatious 

offices in the regions of the dead, their attributes and functions 

being as yet imperfectly ascertained, or altogether unknown; 

and many were only inferior emanations of some of those 

already described. Others were genii or daemons ; and some 

were of that class of beings who were thought to people every 

part of the universe, and to be present unseen amongst mankind, 

aometimes influencing their actions, and sometimes themselves 

acting in obedience to their commands. They were mostly 

represented under a human form, with the heads of different 

quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, or fishes; among which may be 

mentioned the cat, lion, ape, fox, cow, ram, hare, hawk, duck, 

crane, crocodile, tortoise (generally the entire animal in the 

place of a head), and the garmdot ^ fish. Some were figured 

as mere emblems ; and one even assumed the form of the usual 

sceptre of the gods. 

In concluding this notice of the Egyptian deities, whatever 

opinion I have ventured to express is offered with great diffidence, 

owing to the intricacy of the question, and the doubtful authority 

of Gieek writers. I have therefore given little more than the 

tonns of the gods, and their principal characters whenever they 

^d be ascertained ; and I conclude in the words of Seneca,^ 

applied to an observation of Aristotle, — *Egregie Aristoteles 

^t, nimquam nos verecundiores esse debere, quam cum de diis 


* Jtblomki, Tol. iv. p. 153. * See Taur, pp. 145-147. 

* 39tna Carmuth, or Heterobranchw hidorsalis. * Seneca, Nat. Qosest. vii. 30. 


Pectoral pUte. Obelisk between Ra and Ma. 



Tho Sicreil Animals—Care — Ezpmue — ADimslB ia the AdjtQm — Embolmiiig of tben 
— BurUI— Origio uid Bsmod of Wonhip— Bank— List— Apet and Monkeja— Bat 
— Hedgehog — Shrew-monse — Bear — Wea»el — Otter— Dog— Wolf — Foi — 
Jackal — lubnenmon— Hjnna — Cat — Dog — Lion — Pantlier — Leopard — Oban* 
— Honae — Rat — Jerboa — Forenplae — Hare — Elephant — Hippopotamui — Uyrax 
— Hone— Am— Camel — Oinffe — Oryx^ Ibex — Sheep — Kebab — Oxbq — Apia 
—MneTia—Baoia—Bn^lo—ZebD—Dolphtn— Sphinx— Valtnre— Eagle— Hawk 
— Raven— Swallow — Hoopoe — Fowl — Hgeon— Dots — Quail — Oatriob- Ibi^~ 
HeroD— PbTer — Ooou— Duck — Phcenix — Tortoiae — Crocodile — Liiard — Aap^ 
Honse«iake— Homed Snake — Frog — Osyrhynchna — Phagma — Lepfdotua — 
Idtna — Hnotia — Scorpion — Spider — ScaralNBna — Fwaea — Aoanthoa — lotu — 
Garlio— Onions — Palm — Ivy— Emblems. 

I NEXT proceed to mention the sacred * animals, of which many 
different grades existed. Some were looked upon as deities, 
others were merely emblems of the gods. The worship of some 
was general throughout Egypt, that of others was confined to 
particular districts ; and the same animal which received divine 
honours in one part of the country was often execrated and held 
in abhorrence iu another. la one city a sacred fish was venerated, 
in another it was served up among the delicacies of the table ; and 
many serious quarrels ensued between whole towns and provinces, 
owing to the circumstance of a sacred animal having been killed^ 
either from accident or design, by the inhabitants of a neigh- 
bouring district where its worship was not acknowledged.' 

It is, however, very improbable that such lawless disputes 
took place in the early periods of Egyptian history during the 
reigns of the Pharaohs, when a vigorous government had the 
power of maintaining order, and when a wise priesthood watched 

' [JflUn, Hilt. An. lib. X.—0. W.] > Jut. Sat. it. 3S. 


^Qallj oTer tbe interests of all. No opinion, indeed, is more 
l^ble to error than one which judges the customs and character 
of tbe Egyptians from the degraded state of the country under 
the role of the Ptolemies and Caesars : for, as Dc Pauw* justly 
observes, there is no more reason to believe such excesses were 
perpetrated at that period, than to expect the modern towns of 
Karope to make war on each other in order to maintain the 
pre-eminence of their saints and patrons. 

Herodotus' says, 'They are obliged by law to feed the sacred 

imals, and certain persons of both sexes are appointed to take 

of each kind. The employment is an honourable one, and 

descends from father to son.* And ' so far,' observes Diodonis,' 

* mie they from declining, or feeling ashamed, openly to fulfil 

this office, that they pride themselves upon it ; going in pro« 

c««ion through the to^ns and country, with the distinguishing 

tturk of their occupation, as if they were partakers of the highest 

l^oiioiiiB of the gods. And being known by a peculiar emblem 

Wlonging to each, the people perceive, on their approach, of 

^iktt animal they have the care, and show them respect by 

boving to the ground, and by other marks of honour.' 

'When parents, living in towns, perform vows for the 
^'ecovery of their children's health,^ they ofler prayers to the 
4«itv to whom the animal is sacred, and then shaving a portion, 
or half, or the whole of the child's head, they put the hair into 
«Qe scale of the balance and money into the other, until the 
litter outweighs the former ; they then give it to the person 
*iio takes care of the animal, to buy fish (or other AhmI).' 

It wan not, however, on accidental bounty that the nourish* 
•mt of thc*8e creatures depended. The value of a whole head 
of child's hair, even when they paid its weight in gold, or any 
<itlier gift depending u|)on accidental vows (fre<|U(*ntly |H*rfonniHl 
iftcr a long inter\'al), would have been a pn^carictus means of 
npport for the unremitting appetite of the divine In^asts; it 
VM, therefore, wist^ly managed, that a fixtnl revenue slumld be 
piorided for the purpose; and each ha<l a piei*e of land l>o« 
longing to it, the pnnluce of which was sold for its maintenance, 
ttd fofficed for the payment of the curators.' 

The custom of U^aring the emblems of the difTen^nt sacred 
cRStares to whose service they were devote<l, may still be 

■ Dn Pmv, *Kech. tur let £g. et ChiD.,' * IH<Mlor. i. 83. 

k I4S. * llertKliituB iiD<l IHodorus, loe. cit. 

* BuUi^ U. S5. • IHodur. i. S:i. 

B 2 


traced in the banners borne by the gnardiana of the Sheikhs* 
tombs, who travel throughout Egypt in quest of charitable 
donations; and though seldom differing from, or inferior to 
each other in the discordant and deafening noise of drums and 
clamorous instruments, they are as readily distinguished by the 
peculiar emblems of the saint to whose service they belong. 
But the duty is not wholly gratuitous ; being performed partly 
from a prospect of rewards in paradise, and partly from the love 
of the tangible benefits they obtain on earth, by means of his 
useful name. Vows are also made, as in former times, by the 
credulous and the devout, for the recovery of health or the 
accomplishment of a wish ; but the accuracy of the balance is 
no longer required to regulate the extent of the donor's piety. 
or to adjust the quantity of his gratitude to the nice precision 
of a hair. 

The expense incurred by the curators for the maintenance oi 
the sacred animals was immense. Not only were necessary pro- 
visions procured for them, but imaginary luxuries which they 
could neither understand nor enjoy. They were treated with the 
same respect as human beings: warm baths were prepared foi 
them, they were anointed with the choicest unguents, and per- 
fumed with the most fragrant odours. Bich carpets ^ and orna- 
mental furniture were provided for them, and every care was 
taken to consult their natural habits. Females of their own 
species were kept for them, and fed with the utmost delicacy 
and expense ; those only being selected which were remarkable 
for their beauty. When any died, the grief of the people could 
only be equalled by that felt at the loss of a child ; and in so 
sumptuous a manner were their funeral rites performed, that 
they frequently cost more than the curators had the means of 
paying.^ The same respect was extended to those which died 
in foreign countries ; and when engaged in distant wars, they 
did not neglect ' the cats and hawks, or leave them behind, but 
even when it was difficult to obtain the means of transport, they 
were brought to Egypt,' that they might be deposited in holy 

Geese were kept for some of the sacred animals. Meat wa£ 
cut into pieces and thrown to the hawks,' who were invited by 

^ Carpets are frequently mentioned by ' Of. the inscription given by Lepsins 

ancient writers, as I have already had *Abh. Kon. Akad. Berlin/ 1871, of the field 

occasion to observe. Vide also Theocrit. assigned for the support of the 8acr«< 

Id. XT. 125. * Diodor. i. 84. hawks.— S. B. 


velUknown cries to their repast ; cats and ichneumons were fed 

^ bread soaked in milk, and with certain kinds of fish cant^ht 

^ purpose for them ; and every animal was provide<l with food 

suited to its habits.^ Whenever any one of them ditxl, it was 

trapped up in linen, and carried to the embalmers, attended by 

A pitxsession of persons of both sexes, beating their breasts in 

token of grief. The body was then prepared with oil of cedar 

And such aromatic substances as tended to preserve it, and was 

de|Miiiited in a sacred tomb. 

The res|)ect \md to the sacred animals was not confined to 

the outward ceremony of their funeral, or to the external marks 

of grief the mourners voluntarily imposed upon themselves, by 

shaving their eyebrows on the death of a cat, and their whole 

^^y for the loss of a dog : all the provisions which happened 

to lie in the house at the time were looked upon as unlawful 

^ml, and were forbidden to be applied to any use.^ And so 

Remarkable was the feeling of veneration in which they were 

^M by the Egyptians, that, in time of severe famine, when 

i^imger compelled them to eat human flesh, no one was ever 

^novn to touch the meat of any of them, even on the plea of 

preienring life. To destroy one voluntarily subjected the 

^kffender to the penalty of death : but if any i)er8on even un- 

iatentionully killed an ibis or a cat,^ it infallibly cost him his 

iife ; the multitude immediately collecting, and tearing him in 

pieces, often without any form of trial. For fear of such a 

cslamity, if any |M?rsim found one of those animals dead, he 

ttocxl at a distance, and, calling out with a loud voice, maide 

eterv dunionstration of grief, and protested that it was found 


'This superstitious regard for the sacre<l aniniali^,' observes 
Djodoms, ' is thoroughly rooted in their minds, and every Kgy|>« 
tian has his [lassions strongly bent upon their honour. For at 
tke time when Ptolemv had not vet been called a kincr bv the 
Bonans, and the |»eople were using every ]»«is8iblo eflfort to 
iatter the Italians who visite<l the country us strang(*rs, and 
itndious ti» avoid everything that could exrite disputes or leaid 
lo war. a Ibmian having killed a cat, and a <Towd being col- 
kcte<l ttlM»ut his residence, neither the magistrates who were 
•ent by the king to a]»]H*ase their rage, nor the general terror 
of the lloman name, were able to save the oiTi^ndcr from ven- 

> iHudor. L S4. * Ibid. * ItiJ. i. S3. 


geance, although he had done it unintentionally. And this 
we relate not from the testimony of others, but from what we 
ourselves had an opportunity of seeing during our journey in 
Egypt.' * Never,* says Cicero,^ * did any one hear of a croco- 
dile,^ an ibis, or a cat haying been killed by an Egyptian.' 
'Bather would they submit to suffer death than destroy an 
ibis, an asp, a cat, or a crocodile ; and if anyone accidentally 
injured One of those animals, he would object to no kind of 

I have stated the reasons assigned by Diodorus for the 
worship of sacred animals, and have noticed the ridicule with 
which the Greeks delighted to treat this strange custom of the 
Egyptians. We are not, indeed, surprised that it should have 
struck any people as absurd and inconsistent ; and the Hebrew 
legislator felt the necessity of preventing the Jews from falling 
into this, the most gross practice of which idolatry was guilty. 
The worship of the golden calf, a representation of the Mneyis 
of Heliopolis, was a proof how their minds had become imbued 
with the superstitions they had beheld in Egypt, which the 
' mixed multitude had practised there : ' and it frequently 
happened that the Egyptians were more attached to such 
emblems than to the gods themselves. This was the natural 
result of idolatrous feelings, which have in all times forgotten 
the deity in a blind respect paid to the type that chanced to 
represent him. 

* In Egyptian temples,' says Clemens,* * the porticoes, vesti- 
bules, and groves are constructed with great splendour; the 
halls are adorned with numerous columns ; the walls are per- 
fectly splendid with rare stones and brilliancy of colour ; the 
sanctuary ^ shines with gold, silver, and amber, and with a variety 
of glittering stones from India, or Ethiopia, and the adytum is 
hung with curtains of gold tissue. If you enter the circuit of the 
holy place, and hastening to behold what is most worthy of your 
search you seek the statue of the deity, one of the priests who 
perform the rites there steps forward to introduce you to the 
object of his worship, looking upwards with a grave and reverent 
face, as he chants the Paean hymn in his native tongue. But no 

* Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 29. * Clem. Alex. PsMlagog. iii. c 2. 

* Cicero would have been more correct * The body of the temple, or mdm, 
in sabstituting a hawky or a q/nooephalui, whither the profane did not penetrate, tlie 
for a crocodiUf which last was not sacred adytum being the most holy part of the 
throughout Egypt. «des. 

* Cic Tusc Ksput. T. 27. 


xxnier does he draw aside a portion of the veil, as if to show a 
IfCMl, than you find ample reason for smiling at the mysterious 
deity. For the god you sought is not there; but a cat, or a 
csooodile, or a native serpent, or some such animal, which is more 
suited to a cave than a temple ; and you behold an Egyptian 
grod in a beast ^ lying before you on a purple carpet.' The same 
ides b conveyed in the two lines of Juvenal.^ 

It sometimes happened that, like the gods of Rome or the 
its of modem Italy, the sacred animals fell into disgrace, in 
[ueace of the wishes of their votaries not having been 
iplied with ; and this supposed neglect was resented with the 
feelings which subject the image of a saint to the basti- 
v^ado, or to the ignominy of having a string tied round its neck, 
^sd being lowered for a time into a well. Plutarch ' tells us, 
^ftst whenever any great drought, or pestilential disease, or 
^Hher extraordinary calamity, happened, it was customary for the 
Egyptian priests to select some of the sacred animals, and having 
^Wocted them with all silence and secrecy to a dark place, to 
^^nify them with threats, and afterwards, if the disorder still 
^QBtinnedf to devote them to death.' And Porphyry relates that 
^Jiey were in the habit of using threats, not only to the sacred 
^liiiHilt, but even to the gods themselves — * declaring that, 
Unless they did what they desired, or if they acted contrary to 
^heir wishes, they would ** disclose the mysteries of Isis, divulge 
Xhe lecrets hidden in the abyss, stop the Baris (the sacred boat)," 
or ** scatter before Typho the members of Osiris."* 

The above-mentioned ceremony, adds Plutarch, of putting 
tliose animals to death, * being performed in secret, and at no 
tied season of the year, but as occasion requires, is wholly 
uaknown to the generality of the people, except at the time they 
cdebrate the funeral of some |Mirticular species ; when openly, 
•ad in sight of all, they throw them into the grave, to be buried 
ilire with those whose obsequies th(*y are performing. They 
ittigine that by this means they shall vex Typho, and cut off 
the pleasure they suppose he enjoys from the sad event before 
them.' * iiut the animals at whose funeral the above-mentioned 
rite is practised, are such as are honoured and worshipjted by the 

' Is tkt iaocr vr minor MoctoArj of the ' Jut. SaI. it. 7 :— 

pm t<ypU of Kariuk U the .Utue of a . n,j^ c.rule.*, hie piacem flumiDia, illk- 


■d hawk OB a H«taU though the <. ^^j^ ,„, ^ ^^^^^ renerantur. nemn 

f'it waft d^licatei to Auieo ao-1 out to iHauam ' 

* Flut. Ue Uid. ». 73. 


whole nation, as the ibis, the hawk, the cynocephalus, and the 
Apis ; ' and the selection of the others depended, of course, upon 
the character of the gods and of the peculiar emblems worshipped 
in the place where those ceremonies took place. 

Peculiar sepulchres were frequently set apart for certain 
species, and animals of different kinds were not generally buried 
in the same place. But in large populous places, the mummies 
of oxen, sheep, dogs, cats, serpents, and fishes were deposited in 
the same common repository ; though the more usual custom was 
to bury one or more of each species in a tomb exclusiyely 
appropriated to them ; which was usually a small square cayity 
hewn in the rock, and sometimes of considerable dimensions. 

The promiscuous admission of different animals into one 
sepulchre may have been from their enjoying less consideration 
there than in other towns where their worship prevailed. For 
even those which were held sacred throughout the country were 
not equally esteemed in every place ; and the exclusive privileges 
they enjoyed in one town might have been denied in another, 
without depriving them of the title they claimed to the name of 
sacred animals. At Thebes, however, Signer Passalacqua dis- 
covered birds, rats, shrewmice, toads, snakes, scarabsei, and flies, 
embalmed and deposited in the same tomb ; and I have seen one 
there, in which were found the mummies of cats, snakes, and cows. 
But in the same cemetery I observed a sepulchre appropriated 
solely to cats, another to hawks, and another to fish. 

Some were buried in the district where they died; others 
were transported to the nome or city where they were particularly 
sacred — except, perhaps, when the place in which they had been 
kept paid them similar honours. For it is not to be supposed 
that the city of Thebes would willingly suffer the embcdmed 
bodies of the ibis it had fed, and highly venerated, to be trans- 
ported to Hermopolis ; though this last was the place more 
peculiarly appointed to the worship of that bird, and of Thoth, 
the deity to whom it was sacred. Indeed, the fact of our finding 
the embalmed bodies of the ibis both at Thebes, Memphis, and 
other places, sufficiently establishes this conjecture, and shows 
that the animals removed to the patron city were only taken from 
places where their worship was not particularly regarded, and 
probably only from towns or villages in the vicinity. And when 
Herodotus ^ says, * They carry the cats which die to certain holy 

' Herodot. ii. 67. 


places, where tliey are embalmed, and thence removed to Bubastis/ 
we may infer that the historian only alludes to those that died 
in places where the cat and the goddess Bnbastis did not enjoy 
any conspicuous share of the honours of the sanctuary. The same 
applies to his obserrations respecting other sacred animals of 
Egypt, as ^ the shrew-mouse, the hawk, and the ibis,' though he 
says * the two former ^ were transported to the city of Buto, and 
the latter to Hermopolis.' 

The fact of the sacred animals having been embalmed and 
buried in the tombs at Thebes, shows that Plutarch ^ is wrong in 
.jBtating that the inhabitants of the Thebsdd were exempt from 
^the taxes levied throughout the country for the maintenance of 
'^e sacred animals ; and we can only explain this by supposing 
le Thebans to have had the privilege of providing separately 
>r the animals they kept, without contributing to the eommon 
^^^^wnd levied for that purpose on the rest of the Egyptians. 

*Dog8 were buried in their own town, being deposited in 
^Biu^ coffins;' and 'bears (which Herodotus states to have 
l>eeii rare in Egypt) and wolves were interred in the place 
"where they were found dead.' 

The same author ^ says, * When a bull or a heifer dies, the 
^^^ is thrown into the river, and the former buried in the 
suhforbs, with one or both of its horns above the ground to mark 
the spot. Here the body remains till it is decomposed, and a 
Wt despatched from the Isle of Prosopitis comes round to each 
town at a particular period. This Prosopitis is an island in the 
Ddta, nine whoenoi in circumference, containing several towns — : 
<Hie of which, called Atarbechis, sends the boats destined to 
^ect the bones, and employs several persons to go from town 
to town to exhumate them, and take them to the particular 
ipoi where they are buried. They inter in like manner all other 
cattle that die ; ' but it may be doubted if the Egyptians defiled 
their sacred stream by throwing into it the body of any animal 
thit had been found dead, unless it were in those places where 
the crocodiles were fed. The discovery of the bodies of cows or 
lieifers embalmed and buried in the tombs disproves this state- 
ment ; and the remark above made, respecting the interment of 
Miimitlg in the place where they died, applies equally to bulls, 
whoae embalmed bodies are discovered in the sepulchres of 
Thebes and other places. 

* This miut b« an error ; the hawk being sacred to Ra, not to Buto. 
s Pint, de Ifid. a. 21. * Herodot. ii. 41. 


The law which obliged them to bury the bodies of animals 
when found dead in the field, or elsewhere, owed its origin to 
a wise sanitary precaution ; and the respect paid to certain birds 
arose from their great utility in removing those impurities which, 
in a climate like Egypt, necessarily arose from the decomposition 
of animal substances exposed to a burning sun. The same 
consideration induces the modem Egyptians to abstain from 
molesting the Vvttur percnopterus^ the kite, and others of the 
falcon tribe. 

The mode of preserving and interring different animak 
depended on circumstances. Those which were sacred were 
embalmed with great care, and at a considerable expense: 
particular tombs were set apart for them ; and funeral ceremonies 
were performed, according to the consideration they enjoyed in 
the temples of the town where they died. Some idea may be 
formed of the enormous sums occasionally expended on those 
occasions from the statements of Diodorus,^ who afiirms that 
the guardians of the sacred animals, in his time, laid out no 
less than 100 talents at a single funeral ; and when Apis died, 
in the reign of Ptolemy Lagus, the curator spent the whole 
of the money collected for the purpose, and borrowed from 
the king 50 talents in addition to defray the expenses of its 

Many and various theories have been suggested to account 
for the origin of animal- worship in Egypt;* which, according to 
Manetho, was introduced in the reign of the second king of the 
2nd Dynasty. * It is difficult,' says Diodorus,* * to ascertain their 
motive for so singular a custom. The priests, indeed, assign a 
peculiar and hidden reason for it ; but three others are commonly 
reported amongst the people. The first of these, altogether 
fabulous, and in character with the simplicity of primitive notions, 
is, that the gods, in the early ages of the world, being in fear of 
the numbers and wickedness of mankind, assumed the form of 
animals, in order to avoid their cruelty and oppression. And 
having at length obtained the dominion of the world, they 
decreed, as a reward to those animals by whom they had been 

> The Rokham, or Rakham ; called also to be proved by Manetho, who saya thai 

* Pharaoh's hen/ or ' the scavenger of the the Apis, &c., were ordered to be treated aa 

Kile.* * Diod. i. 84. gods in the reign of XHOS, the secoiid 

' [It seems really to have been an African king of the 2nd Dynasty, according to 

custom, vestiges of which still remain in Eusebius, the KAIEXfiS of Africanos* ver- 

the interior of Soodin : it was probably sion. — G. W.] * Diodur. i. 86. 

adopted by the Egyptians also. This seems 


i^ved, that mankind should ever after respect and nourish them 
*bile alive, and perform funeral honours to them at their 

* The second is, that the ancient inhabitants of Egv pt, having 
mfiered several signal defeats from their neighbours, in con- 
sequence of the confusion and want of discipline in their army, 
derised the plan of carrying standards, and for this purpose 
•elected the tigures of animals. These, being placed upon a 
•pear and raised to a sufficient height, served as a rallying-point 
for the soldiers, and enabled them to keep their ranks in the 
cunfiisioD of battle. And by this means having obtained the 
▼ictory over their enemies, they attributed their success to the 
•aimals whose figures they bore, and out of gratitude abstained 
&niii killing any of the same species, treating them afterwards 
^th religious veneration. 

*The third reason is, gratitude for the benefits conferre<l by 

^em on mankin<l. For the cow not only ploughs the land itself, 

^t produces those which perform the same useful office ; sheep 

t^g forth lambs twice (in the year^), and from their wool are 

^k»de clothes and ornamental furniture, while their milk is an 

Article of food, hath itself and the cheese made from it. The dog 

i« required both for the chase and as a guard ;^ . . . the cat is 

^ protection against the approach of the venomous asji and other 

^^tplilet ; and the ichneumon is useful in destroying the eggs of 

^ht crocodile, which would otherwise multiply so much as to 

^^ender the river unapproachable. The ichneumon even wars 

^th that animal itself, and overcomes it by a wonderful 

Matagem. Having enveloped itself in mud, it watches its 

opportunity, while the cnxxxiile slee|>s with its mouth oi>en on 

the shore, and then adroitly glides through its mouth into its 

ttonMch, and, eating its way out, escapes unhurt, at the same 

tone that it kills its enemy. The hawk is worshipiKHl bt^cause 

it destroys scorpions, honied snakes, and noxious ercatun^s which 

nMianger human life; though some sup|Nis«' the roiLson to be 

ka its being the bird selected by augurs for predicting future 


These remarks agree with an observation of Cicero, ' that the 
EfTvptians only hold those animals sacred which an^ of use to 
as the ibis, from its being the tlustroyer of scriN^nts ; and 

* Cmi. alio Dioiior. i. 36. This U the Aoubi* with a «l»cN h^i'l.' I har« el««- 
ow ■! ih« fTCMBt liiir. where ni»tic«J thi> crr<ir, in »|H'aking ot 

' * ThtrwUm,* bt addA, ' thcr rcprttent the dog. 


much might be added respectmg the utility of the ichneumon 
the crocodile, and the cat.' 

* Goats, bulls, wolves, and others,' continues DiodoruSy *an 
reported to have been venerated for similar motives.' The 
historian then proceeds to give other reasons, one of which 
though highly improbable, deserves to be mentioned — ^ that ii 
the early period of the Egyptian monarchy, the people beinj 
prone to rebellion against the government, one of the kingi 
devised this method of sowing the seeds of discord among then 
and preventing their union. He divided the country intc 
several parts, to each of which he assigned a peculiar animal 
establishing its worship there, and forbidding it to be eaten 
By which means, the same animal that was adored in one plac< 
being regarded with no respect, and even despised, in another 
all community of feeling was destroyed, and the animosit] 
arising between neighbouring provinces prevented their uniting 
against their rulers.' 

The historian also refers, in another place,^ to the supposec 
sojourn of the gods on earth ; when, in their visits to different 
places, they assumed the form of various animals — 'a notioi 
which,' he adds, Uhe poet^ introduced into his verses, having 
learnt it during his stay in Egypt.' 

Plutarch, in mentioning the same subject, says,' ^ That ihi 
gods, through a dread of Typho, metamorphosed themselves int< 
animals, lying concealed in the bodies of ibises, dogs, and hawks 
is more extravagant than the most fanciful tales of fable. It i 
equally incredible, that the souls of those who survive thei 
bodies should return to life again only through such animals 
Of those, therefore, who wish to assign a political reason for thei 
worship, some assert that Osiris, having divided his army intt 
several divisions, assigned to each a separate standard, distin 
guished by a particular animal, which afterwards became sacred 
and was worshipped by the troops to whom it had been given 
Others maintain that it was in consequence of some of the late 
kings, who wished to strike terror into their enemies, havin{ 
decked themselves with gold and silver figures of those AnimftU 
Others, again, attribute it to the artifice of a crafty prince, whc 
perceiving the Egyptians to be of a volatile disposition, alway 
inclined to change and novelty, and, from their numbers, in 
vincible as long as they were guided by wise counsels and actet 

> Diodor. i. 12. * Homer. * Plat. d« bid. s. 72. 


in onoert, devised this sort of superstition, whilst they were yet 

dispersed up and down in their several habitations, as a means of 

proptfirating discord amongst them. For, amongst the different 

fpecies of animals ho enjoined them to worship, many bore a 

natnrd antipathy to each other, and some were eaten in one part 

of the country and some in another. He therefore foresaw that, 

ta each party would defend its own favourite animals, and resent 

whatever injuries they suffered, this must im{)erceptibly engender 

ft h(«tile feeling amongst them, and prevent their plotting 

ipainst the government.' These were, of course, merely the 

(ukcifal notions of the uninstructed, as Diodoms justly observes. 

Uany of the animals were worshipped, not from a particular 

Mpect paid to them, or on account of any qualities they 

pc«Kflsed, but solely because they had been chosen as emblems 

<rf certain deities; and their selecticm for this purpose is a 

•vpuate and independent questicm. That the reasons for it were 

(rften as capricitius and ridiculous as those stated by the historian 

U Tery probable ; and what could be more arbitrary than the 

^ioptiun of the ibis to represent the god Thoth, or the S{)otted 

^mto he the emblem of Athor? For, if they l<M)kod upon the 

ilii with a feeling of gratitude on account of its utility in 

divtniying 8er])ents, the re^is^m for its being chosen as the 

l^rcoliar tyi)e of the Egyptian Hermes could not originate there ; 

ttor dfies a cow, however useful to mankin<l, ap|>ear to be a 

repn-si^ntative of the goddess Venus. 

It is therefon* evident that neither the benefits derived bv 

from the habits of certain animals, nor the rejmt^Ml reasons 

ior their peculiar choice as emblems of the gocls, were sufficient 

Waecfiunt for the reven^nce paid to many of those they held 

ikihL S*ime, no doubt, may have b<M»n indebted to the first- 

[ ttenli^me^l cauM* ; and, however little connection appears to 

Hhtiat betw<-**n thos«* animals and the gods of whom they wen* 

tfcp typifi, w« may believe that the ox, cow, hIkm'p, dog, cat, 

Vttlliire, hauk, ibis, an<l some others, wen^ chosen from their 

llility to man. We may als4> see sufficient reasons for making 

loaie others saenMl, in (»rder to prevent their Ixung killtMl for 

tiod« becauM* their fl«>sh was unwholesome, as was tht* cas4» with 

ttftain fish of tht* Nile — a precaution which exten<l(Hl to S4inie 

of thf veg«'tablt'jt of th(* country. But this will not mrount for 

ike choietf th«*v nnnh* in nianv instances ; for whv should not the 

«aiiiel and horse havt? b<H*n wlfctinl fi>r the first, ami many oth(*r 

CDQunun animals and n*ptiK*s for the List-mentioned reascm? 


There was, as Porphyry observes, some other hidden motive, 
independent of these ; and whether it was, as Plutarch supposes, 
founded on rational grounds, * with a view to promote the welfare 
of the community,' on accidental or imaginary analogy, or on 
mere caprice, it is equally difficult to discover it, or satisfactorily 
to account for the selection of certain animals as the exclusive 
types of particular deities. Porphyry gives another reason for 
the worship of animals, which is consistent with the speculative 
notions of the Egyptians ; but still it offers no elucidation of the 
question respecting the preference shown to some before others, 
nor does it account for one or other being chosen to represent a 
particular attribute of the deity. ' The Egyptian priests,* says 
that writer,^ ' profiting by their diligent study of philosophy, and 
their intimate acquaintance with the nature of the gods, have 
learnt that the Divinity permeates other beings as well as man ; 
that he is not the only creature on earth possessed of soul ; and 
that nearly the same spiritual essence pervades all the tribes of 
living creatures. On this account, in fashioning images of the 
gods, they have adopted the forms of aU animals, sometimes 
joining the human figure with those of beasts ; at others, com- 
bining the shapes of men and of birds. Wherefore some of their 
images have the form of a man up to the neck, with the face of a 
bird, or a lion, or any other creature : others, again, have the head 
of a man, with the remainder of the body, either the upper or 
lower parts, shaped like some other animal. Thus we find the 
lion adored £is a god ; and there is a part of Egypt called the 
Z^ecwtopolite nome, from the lion, another called the -Bii«irite,' 
from the bull, and a third the Lycopolitan, from the wolf. Under 
these semblances they adore the universal power which the gods 
have severally displayed in the various forms of living nature.* 
If, as he supposes, all animals had been admitted by them,^ this 
notion of the universal participation of the divine essence would 
account for the adoption of each member of the animated creation 
as the representative of its own particular portion of the divinity 
from whom it emanated. But the difficulty is not solved by this 
statement, or by that of Plutarch,* who says, * Many suppose the 
soul of Typho to have been divided amongst those animals^ — 

* Porphyr. de Abstin. iv. c. 9. * Plut. de Isid. s. 73. 

* Bovaipinis, This is a Greek fancy. ^ As in the account of the Aph6phi«, a 
' Cicero is also wrong in saying, * Omne form of Typhon, being cut up into •nim»^ 

fere genus bestiarum iEgyptii consecra- — S. B 
Terunt,' (De Nat. Deor. iii.) 


ii|riiifyin^ that the irrational and brutal nature proceeds from 

tb© Evil Principle ; and, consequently, all the reverence paid to 

theae creatures is with a desifpi to pacify him.* Plutarch* and 

Porphyry attach p:rcat importance to the doctrine of emanation, 

•ft the tviurce of animal-worship; and the statements of those 

two writers tend to show the princi])le which gui<led the Ep^yp- 

tiiuss in their speculations respecting;]: the connection between 

tbe Creator an<l His creatures. The doctrine of emanations from 

one great soul, to which all returned again, after having been 

mfficiently purified from the contaminations to which each soul 

««■ subject during its earthly career, formed a principal feature 

of their religion ; and not only was man, or the human soul, 

(tmsidercil an emanation from the same great and universal 

^rce, but every animated creature was supposed to partake of 

it! divine essence. This idea extended even to ' herbs and stones,* 

^hich were thought to * have within them the natural property 

of the Divinity.*' 

I have already had occasion to observe,' that the idea of the 
hmnan wiul. which was an emanation from the great soul that 
Koremed and pervaded the universe, returning to its divine 
^ungiu after certain purifications, led to the doctrine of the trans- 
migration. The evil propensities of man, an<l the sinful actions 
^ which he was frequently guilty, were thought so to taint the 
tariginal purity of the divine nature of the soul, that, on leaving 
tibe borly, it was no longer in a fit state to n^unite itself with the 
taunaculate Source from which it prociH.Mle<l : they therefore 
—ppomd that it underwent a proportionate degree of purification, 
%DeoidtDg to the nature of the impieties each in<livi<lual had 
Committed. For this purpose it was condemne<l to a state of 
pargatory, by passing through the bodies of various animals.^ 
The most wicketl were confined in those of the most (Mliims des(*rii>- 
tion, as the ]>ig and others, which for this reasim they ItelievtMl to 
W fit embli-ms of the Evil Iteing ;* nn<l ' tht)8(',* as Plato* makes 
Soermtes say, * who were guilty of injustice, tyranny, and rapine, 
mtered into the tribes of wolves, hawks,^ and kites.* 

Hence it ap{»ear8 that the animals they hehl sacreil, whi(*h 
pvtook more immediately of the divine natun\ were distinct 
fnan those into which the * souls of wicke<l |H'rsons |mssed during 

' fimt. dc Ui-i. «. 77. * Ihi.l. «. M. 

' Mvrciir. Tritm^f;.. iHaUigiie with At- ' lMftt«i, Pllia^iii. fi. 'J'J4 ; tnin«. Tavlor. 

rfa^ ' »^^pra^ loc cit. ' Tbii wm aixuriltDg ti> tti« idtxt %>( thf 

* riml. d« bid. u 7J. Greeks. 


the period of their transmigration ; * and that it was imparted 
to some in a direct manner, while others only receiyed it through 
the medium of other influences. 

It also appears that intermediary agents and daemons were 
supposed to inhabit the bodies of certain animals, in which they 
visited the earth ; and conformably to this notion, the numerous 
genii of the Egyptian Pantheon were figured with the heads oi 
different animals distinct from the deities to whom those ATiimRlfl 
were peculiarly sacred. The custom of representing the gods 
under a human form was owing to their considering man the 
intellectual representatiye of the Deity, who bore the stamp oi 
the mind of the Creator, and the only created being who was 
worthy of being considered a likeness of the Divine Original ; 
and in adding the heads of particular animals they probably 
alluded to certain properties, of which they were deemed suitable 
emblems. From what has been stated it is reasonable to suppose 
that the sacred animals enjoyed different gradations of rank ; and 
the same respect was not paid to the crocodile, whose worship was 
confined to particular parts of the country, as to the universally 
adored ibis, or the cow of Athor. Some were in themselves sacred 
— ^being looked upon, as Strabo and Porphyry say, * really to be 
gods ' — as the bull Apis and others ; some were adored as represen- 
tatives of the deities to whom they were sacred ; and others were 
only emblems. It is not, however, always easy to ascertain to what 
degree the animals were held sacred by the Egyptians, since ancient 
authors disagree on this point. Thus we find that, though Strabo 
supposes the Oxyrhynchus to have been worshipped throughout 
the country, Plutarch says the Cynopolites eat this fish ; and the 
dog, which the geographer considers universally sacred, was in 
like manner, out of revenge, killed and eaten by the people of 
Oxyrhynchus. Strabo's words ^ are, * All the Egyptians venerate 
the Oxyrhynchus fish. For there are some animals which every 
Egyptian worships: as for instance, of quadrupeds, three — the 
ox, the dog, and the cat ; of birds, the hawk and ibis ; of fish, 
two — the Lepidotus and Oxyrhynchus. Some are adored in 
particular places : as the sheep, by the Saites and Thebans ; 
the Latus, a fish of the Nile, by the people of Latopolis ; the 
wolf, by the Lycopolites ; the Cynocephalus, at Hermopolis ; 
the Cepus, by the Babylonians who live near Memphis ; . . . . 
the eagle, by the Thebans ; the lion, at Leontopolis ; the goat. 

* strabo, xvii. p. 559. 



by the MendeeiaQs; the U;^gald, at Athribis; and others in 
different places.' The bodies, howevet, of all animals which 
were found dead were remoTed and buried, as might be reason- 
ftblf expected, since this regulation arose irom a sanitary 

pnesntion; and it therefore appears, from the most common 
kiitda, u horses, asses, and others, not being discoTered, that the 
fiabmnff process was confined to certain animals, and rarely 
extended to those which were not sacred to some deity. 

In order to enable the reader to distinguiah the sacred 
numals of Egypt, I shall introduce a list of those known there 
ID fiKmer dmes, and point out such as appear, from the aathority 
rf competent writera, or trom being found embalmed in the 
tonbi, to hare a claim to that title ; arranging them under their 
nqwctkTe heads of mammalia, birds, reptiles, fishes, and insects, 
lo which I shall add some of the holy members of the vegetable 
tangnf wii- 



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[Chat. XIV. 


Some fSEtbulous insects may also be cited, as well as fabulous 
nadnipeds, which were chiefly emblems appropriated to parti- 
ular gods, or representative of certain ideas connected with 
ligion, the most remarkable of which were scarabaei with the 
eads of hawks, rams, and cows. Of these many are found made 
dT pottery, stone, and other materials, and the sculptures represent 
e beetle with a human head« This change did not render 
em less fit emblems of the gods: the scarabaeus of the sun 
spears with the head of a ram as well as a hawk ; and the god 
was sometimes figured with the body of a scarabaeus and 
e head and legs of his usual human form. 
Haying now stated the name of the deity to whom they were 
, and the town where divine honours were particularly 
id to them, it remains to add a few remarks on the comparative 
liums of each, in order to distinguish the animals worshipped as 
ities, those held sacred throughout Egypt, those whose worship 
confined to particular districts, and those which were revered 
eidy out of respect to the gods of whom they were emblems. 
The Cynocephalus ape,^ which was particularly sacred to 
^^loth, held a conspicuous place among the sacred animals of 
fjpt, being worshipped as the type of the god of letters, and 
the moon, which was one of the characters of Thoth. It was 
^^en introduced in the sculptures as the god himself, with 
^llioth^ Lord of Letters,' and other legends inscribed over it ; 
^■^ in astronomical subjects two Cynocephali are frequently 
^^^piesented standing in a boat before the sun in an attitude of 
t^tayer, as emblems of the moon.' Their presence in a similar 
yoit with a pig probably refers to them as types of the divinity 
^ whose honour that animal was sacrificed ; ^ the moon and 
'^Stochus,' according to Herodotus,^ being the sole 'deities to 
^hom it was lawfcd to immolate swine, and that only at the full 
^kiooQ.' ^ But their presence was not confined to Thoth or the 
^tMniL On two sides of the pedestals of the obelisks of Luxor, 
Coor CSynocephali stand in the same attitude, as if in adoration of 
tlie deity to whom those monuments were dedicated ; a balustrade 
o^er the centre doorway of the temple of Amen at Medeenet 
fiaboo is ornamented with figures of these animals ; and a row of 
tSiem forms the cornice of the exterior of the great temple dedi- 

* U WM eallad aani, and came from ^ Plutarch (de Isid. s. 8) says, 'A sow 

^^ «r EtMopto, Punt or Somali. was sacrificed to Typho once a jear, at 

' BsiapoUo, L 14, 15. > Herod, ii. 47. the fall moon.' 


cated to Ba at AboosimbeL Sometimes a CynocephaltiSy placed 
upon a throne as a god, holds a small ibis in his hand ; and in 
the judgment scenes of the dead it frequently occurs seated on 
the summit of the balance, as the emblem of Thoth, who had an , 
important o£Sce on that occasion, and registered the account of 
the actions of the deceased. 

Horapollo ^ states some curious reasons for Cynocephali being 
chosen as emblems of the moon. lamblichus also speaks of 
certain physical analogies common to them and to ,that lumi* 
nary ; and the former supposes that they were brought up in the 
temples in order to enable the priests to ascertain from ihdr 
habits the exact instant of the conjunction of the sun and moon. 
Several equally ridiculous reasons are giyen for their rebtion 
to Thoth, and to other hieroglyphic symbols. The place where 
this animal was particularly sacred was Hermopolis, the dty of 
Thoth. Thebes and other towns also treated it with the respect 
due to the representative of the Egyptian Hermes ; and in the 
Necropolis of the capital of Upper Egypt a particular spot m 
set apart as the cemetery of the sacred apes. There were lifing 
Cynocephali attached to the temple of the god Ehons at Eanak. 
Mummies of the Cynocephalus are put up in a sitting postue, 
which is that usuaQy given to the animal in the sculptoies 
when representing the god Thoth ; and its head forms one ol 
the covers of the four sepulchral vases deposited in the tomlia 
of the dead. It was then the type of the god Hapi, one of the 
four genii of Amenti, who was always figured with the head of s 
Cynocephalus. Many of this species of ape were tamed and 
kept by the Egyptians, and the paintings show that they were 
even trained for useful purposes, as I have already had ocoaaon 
to observe. 

It was a native of Ethiopia, as Pliny' and other anthon 
state, where it is still common ; and many are brou^t down to 
Cairo at the present day to amuse the crowds in the streets, by 
exhibiting the antics they are taught, to the sound of drums 
and other noisy instruments; but the constant application of 
the stick shows the little respect now paid in Egypt to the 
once revered emblem of Hermes. 

Strabo agrees with other writers ' in stating that the Henn<>* 
politans worshipped the Cynocephalus. He afterwards mentions 

1 Horapollo, i. 14 ; and Piin. viii. 54. < Plin. vii. 2, and riii. 54. 

* Strabo, xvii. p. 559. 



«%' which was sacred in Babylon,' near Memphis; but 
I description of that animal, ' with a face like a satyr, 
mt between a dog and a bear,* we may suppose he had 
the sacred ape of Thoth, as no animal worshipped in 
mawers his description so well as the Cynocephalns.' 
it is possible that he mistook the Cynocephalns of 
olis for one of the smaller kind of monkeys, and applied 
16 Cebus to the sacred type of the £g3rptian Hermes. 
father confirmed by the account given by Pliny ^ of ' the 
riioae hind-feet resembled human feet and thighs, and 
ttti were like human hands,* and by its being ' a natire 
ypuL Some might suppose that he had in view the 
ian figure which occurs so often in the astronomical sub- 
it this is generally represented with the head of a hippo- 
I and the body of a b^, or of some fisnciful monster.* 
green monkey of Ethiopia was frequently brought to 
rith the Cynocephalus by those who paid tribute to the 
r Egypt : there is, howeveri no evidence of its having 
nd to any deity. 

ft writers mention the Ceroopithecus, which seems to have 
■arkable for the length of its tail.* This might even 
• the green monkey of Ethiopia. Indeed, Pliny's descrip- 
Ae Cercopithecus with a black head accords with one 
ilill found there.^ They seem to have been embalmed 
m and other places, and may therefore have some claim 
ik among the animals revered by the Egyptians ; and if 
believe Juvenal,* the Cercopithecus was worshipped in 
tad of the Thebaid. It was frequently represented as an 
i in necklaces, in common with other animals, flowers, 
siftal devices; and the neck of a bottle was sometimes 
d with two sitting monkeys. 

■embliDg • CjDocephmlns foand at Hem- 
o|iolii. (PettigrcwoD Mammie*, p. 184; 
and PiMilaogna'a CaUlo^ne, p. 14i^.) 

* riia. Tiii. 19. £lun, Nat. An. 
iTii. 8. 

* Tb« mookfj vith the nnme knf, * mon- 
key/ ap|M-ar4 un<ler th« chair nf a |ierMin 
who llrtd i:i the nign of ('hei>pft (1^|i»ia», 
* Denkn..' Abth. it. Bl. :)(>), pruTinie that 
the wurd i« mnch older than the .Siin«crit 
form, and ap|»arently Kgrptian. — S. B. 

* * St mihi Cauda forrt «:rrrti|>itbrcui 

' PI in. (riii. 21) doe« not plare the iVr- 
copithecnt among the munkeT tribe. 

* Jut. Sat. it. 4. 

I trident 1 J the (Igrptian ^af 
., though applied to the 

a fo the )«iboon or Crnoce- 
Wtkm eridentlr »np|MMea the 
M to be diAVreot from t he Cebnt, 
Ib «Tor. The worl *a|>e/ in 
.SI, ia kyf {kttfim), and the Mm<» 
ftkam ka/. Bat the wi>rd u 

lien town tif <M>1 Cain> ^taniU 
■# Babjlun. of which the pno- 
V an th« kunian ktatmn men- 
(ivii. |i. 5.'i5). 
l«n MeatiMns a monster re- 


The bat is represented in the paintings of Beni-Hassan. It 
does not appear to have been sacred, nor do I know any instance 
of its being fonnd embalmed. Egypt produces several species, 
some of which are of great size. The ancient Egyptians classed 
it among birds ; but this was probably in reference to the element 
in which it moved, in the same manner as they introduced the 
crocodile and hippopotamus with the fish of the Nile. 

Small figures of the hedgehog were sometimes made of 
earthenware and other materials to senre as ornaments. Lamps 
of terra-cotta are also met with in the tombs haying the form of , 
this animaL They do not, howeyer, appear to haye been con- i 
nected with a religious feeling; but, like the small porcelain 
figures of the ibex, hippopotamus, fly, frog, and others, frequently 
found in Egypt, were probably intended for ornamental purposes, 
and frequently used as toys or trinkets.^ 

The Mygdls^ or shrewmouse held a conspicuous place amongst 
the sacred animals of Egypt; but I neyer obseryed any repre- 
sentation of it in sculptures relating to the religion or the natural 
history of the country. It has been found embalmed in the 
tombs of Thebes, and Passalacqua has thence brought specimens 
of two species. It is remarkable that one of these is la^r thaB 
any with which we are acquainted. Herodotus' tells us that 
they remoyed the shrews which died to Butos, where they wer0 
buried, in consequence of their being sacred to Buto or Latona* 
the goddess of that city ; and Plutarch^ asserts that it receiye^ 
diyine honours from being blind, and was therefore looked upofi 
as a proper emblem of darkness, which was more ancient thafi 
light The notion of its blindness they doubtless deriyed froi^ 
its habit of coming forth only at night, when all was darkness 
and from their impression that no animal who had the power & 
sight could neglect to take adyantage of so yaluable a gift ; ba^ 
however we may ridicule the Egyptians for belieying the blind- 
ness of the Mygale, we find a parallel in the proverbial stigmi 
we have attached to the mole and the bat. 

I have already noticed the character of the goddess Buto al 
Latona, of whom it was the emblem. According to the meta- 
physical notions of the priesthood, she was that primordia] 
'darkness which covered the deep,' represented, according to 
their custom, by the name and under the form of a deity. The 

* It is seen as an animal of the fields or chase. — S. B. ' Sorex myoaunu. Pall. 
» Hcrodot. ii. 67. * Pint. Symp. It. quest. 6. 


gods of Egypt consisted, as I have frequently shown, of abstract 

ideas, as well as those things on which the divine intellect operated. 

Of this system an idea may be obtained from many parts of the 

Mbnic acconnt of the Creation ; and the second verse of (renesis 

aiglit present to an Egyptian at least six members of his Fan- 

thaon, in the Earth, Chaos, Darkness, the Deep, the Spirit of 

God, and the Waters. Bnt a similar abstruse notion was beyond 

the teach of the uninstmcted. They were contented to see in 

Lfltooa the nnrse of Horns ;^ and the Mygale was said to be the 

Munud whose form she assnmed to elade the pursuit of Typhon, 

mh&a he sought to destroy the son of Osiris, who had been com- 

■itted to her charge. I have already shown that the Mygale is 

ioud embalmed at Thebes, and that the burying-place of this 

aumal was not confined to Butos.^ Strabo, indeed, would lead 

m to infer that Athribis vied with that city in the honours it 

beitowed upon the emblem of Latona ;' and if he is correct in 

lUs assertion, the relationship, or perhaps the identity, of Buto 

ad the lion-headed goddess Thriphis may be established. The 

Athribis mentioned by the geographer was the capital of a nome 

cf the same name, lying between Bubastis and the Nile. Another 

Athribis stood in Upper Egypt, in the nome of Aphrodit<>|)oli8, 

to the Libyan range of hills, where extensive mounds and 

of a temple still mark its site. It was also called Croco- 

dih^lis ; but tradition has retained the name of Athribis in the 

Coptic Athrebi. The inmates of the White Monastery, which 

sIbkIs in the vicinity, designate it by that of Atrib, or Medeenet 

Asheysh ; and the inscription on one of the fallen architraves of 

tte temple distinctly shows that the goddess, as well as the city, 

bon the name of Thriphis. 

Herodotus ^ says * bears are rare in Egypt,' but there is little 
denbt that this animal was always unknown there ; and the only 
■stance of it in the paintings or sculptures is when brought by 
iofeigners to Egypt among the gifts annually presented to the 
Fhenohs. It is therefore singular that l^rospcr Alpini^ of 
Fidiia should assert it to be a native of that oountrv, and 
deenibe it * as not larger than our sheep, of a whitish colour, 
easilv tamed and less fierce than our own.' 

' HcrwlM. ii. ]r»6. Kh^tn.* or S«'khem, ami do out mention Uat 

* TV* lOK-riptioDii pl.ic«<l br th# d«*iU or Uuto. — 8. Ii. 

•• tke pcd««talt of th« tmall broDXit ' Stnibts xvti. p. h'tO. 

of th< Mt^a)^ call it //otki x<^' * Hcntilot. ii. 67. 

*Hvnu, who dwell* io th^ re^^ion * Prosper Alpious Hist. Nat. .f-'^.. ir. 9. 


According to Plutarch,^ the soul of Typho was fabled by the 
Egyptians to have been translated into the constellation of the 
Bear.^ This notion is probably derived from the frequent repre> 
sentations of a Typhonian monster in astronomicfld subjects; 
which are the more remarkable, since they date from the early 
period of the 18th Dynasty. That writer also asserts' that ' the 
weasel was worshipped by the Egyptians, as well as the asp and 
beetle, on account of certain resemblances (obscure as they are) 
which those creatures are thought to present to the operations 
of the divine power, like the image of the sun seen in drops of 
rain. For there are many who think, and are ready to assert, 
that the weasel engenders at the ear, and brings forth her 
young at the mouth, and they consequently look upon it as a 
just symbol of the divine reason.' From his having already 
mentioned the Ichneumon, it is evident he does not allude to 
that animal ; and we are therefore bound, on his authority, to 
give the weasel a place among the sacred animals of Egypt. 
Porphyry says, that * the weasel, the beetle, and the crocodile 
were emblems of the sun ; ' and lamblichus ^ considers * the dog, 
Cynocephalus, and ipecuel common to the moon.' 

It is on the authority of Herodotus * that the otter is men- 
tioned amongst the animals of Egypt; but I have already 
observed that it is unknown in Egypt, and that he probably 
had in view the large Laceria NUotica or monitor of the Nile, 
— the name enhydris, or ' water animal,' being too vague to be 
exclusively applied to the otter. Whatever this was, he asserts 
it to have been sacred ; and had he not mentioned the Ichneu- 
mon," we might feel certain that he had taken it for the otter 
(if by enhydris he meant to designate that particular inhabitant 
of the water), and I have known the same mistake to have been 
made by modem travellers. Indeed, though Herodotus was 
aware of the existence of the Ichneumon in Egypt, he may 
have been led into this error on seeing it in the river ; and it 
is more likely that the Ichneumon should be mistaken for an 
otter than the monitor of the Nile. 

Since writing the above, I find my last opinion fully con- 
firmed by Ammianus Marcellinus,^ who says it is * the Hydru$, a 
"kind of Ichneumon,' which attacks the crocodile ; and the name 

» Plut. de hid. s. 21. ' Plut. de hid. s. 74. 

* The only bear seen in the sculptures * lamblichus, de Myster., sect. r. c 8. 

is the cinnamon-coloured bear, Ursus Syri- * Herodot. ii. 72. 

acus, brought as tribute by the Rutennu • Ibid. ii. 67. 

or Syrians. — S. B. ' Ammian. Marcell. xxii. 14, p. 336. 

aiAT. ZIY.] THE DOG. 273 

f Enhydrua, given it by Sol inns and Isidonifl, adde<l to the 
hwrration of Hesychius, who describes ^the Enhydrus as an 
DBphibioos animal, like the beaver/ may suffice to show that 
le £nhvdris of Herodotus is no other than the ichneumon. 

The dog was held in great veneration in many parts of 
Igypt, particularly at the city of Cynopolis, where it was 
seated with divine honours. Strabo tells us a stated quantity 
r provisions was always supplied by the inhabitants of that city 
IT the maintenance of their favourite animals ; and so tenacious 
they of the respect due to them, that a civil war raged fur 
time between them and the people of Oxyrhynchus, in 
omcqnence of the latter having killed and eaten them. This 
lad been dune in n*venge for an insult they had received from 
he Cynopolites, who had brought to table their sacred fish.^ * In 
lacient times,' says I'lutarch,^ * the Egyptians paid the greatest 
reverence and honour to the dog ; but by reason of his eating 
of the flesh of Apis, after Cambyses had slain it and thrown it 
oat, when no other animal would taste or even come near it, 
We kst the first rank he had hitherto held amongst the sacred 

Bach is the opinion of Plutarch ; but it may lie doubted if 

Ae dog ever enjoyed the same exalted rank among the sacred 

ttiBiaU as the cat and many others, however much it was es- 

tacmed by the Egyptians fur its fidelity. It was sacred,^ but 

M onivenuilly wurship{)ed. It was not held in the same repute in 

cwj part of Egypt, as we have already seen from the disputt^s 

btlween the Cyn(i|>ulites and Oxyrhynchites ; nor was it looked 

iponaaone ofthusc' whi(*li were worshipiHMl by the whole nation, 

II vera the ibis, the hawk, the Cynoi*ephalu8, and the Apis.'* 

Tke assertion of Plutarch re8])ecting the disgmce into which 

the dog fell may l»e justly duubtinl ; and Ilerudotus, nhose 

Mthority is to be preferreil, in his acrount of Apis's death, 

aad the care taken by the priests to bury its ImhIv, disproves 

kii statement, and stanijis it with the fabulouR chanR*ter which 

belongs t4» iMi many of the stories contained in the treatise of 

*Us and Osiris.' Indee<I, the idea seems S4) neurlv conm^cteil 

with the group of th«* god Mithras, where the dog is represented 

iseding on the hloml (»f the slaughtered ox, that there is reason 

to believe the story derived its origin fn»ni the Persian idol. 

■ Pl«t.d« Itid. II. 72. Strabo (irii. p. * VUu* (CinrcM*. p. '^^A, traaO.) ralU 

M> HTt the OxrrhvDi hu!» ti-h wan lacred it 'nn« lY th» •li?itiv» i>l r.kCTpt.' I'lut. ilr 
• aU Ec7pC ' * i'lut. a« kill. i. 44. hid. u. 7J, 70. * Ibi.l. •. 73. 



Among those who acknowledged the sacred character of the 
dogy the respect it received was very remarkable ; for whenever 
one of those animals died a natural death, all the inmates of 
the house shaved their heads and their whole body;^ and if 
any food, whether wine, com, or anything else, happened to 
be in the house at the time, it was forbidden to be applied to 
any use. 

According to some ancient authors, the dog was fietbled to 
have been the guard of Isis and Osiris, and to have been revered 
on account of its assisting Isis in her search after the dead body 
of her husband ; ^ for which reason,' they add,' * dogs are made to 
head the procession in the ceremonies of Isis, as if to record their 
utility on that occasion.' 

Herodotus does not confine the burying-place of the dog to 
any particular district. * Every one,' he says, * inters them in 
their own town, where they are deposited in sacred cheats ;'* 
and if their funeral rites were performed with greater honour in 
the Gynopolite nome, it is evident, from the mummies found in 
different parts of the country, that great care was taken in the 
mode of embalming them in other places. We are told ^ that, 
having been properly prepared by the embalmers of ftninni^ and 
wrapped in linen, they were deposited in the tombs allotted to 
them, the bystanders beating themselves in token of grief, and 
uttering lamentations in their honour. 

According to Clemens of Alexandria,* two dogs were the 
emblems of the two hemispheres. HorapoUo * pretends that the 
dog represents ' a scribe,^ a prophet, laughter, the spleen,' and 
other things equally improbable ; and lamblichus * supposes a 
certain physical analogy in the dog, as well as the Cynocephalus 
and the weasel, with the moon. But the latter evidently con- 
founds the moon or Thoth with the other Mercury, Anubis, to 
whom the dog was thought to be sacred. The greatest number 
of dog-mummies that I met with in Egypt were at the small 
town of El Hareib, a little below the modem Manfal6ot, at 
Thebes, and in the vicinity of Shar6na. But it is probable that 
every town had a place of interment set apart for them, as for 
other animals that died and were buried at the public expense, 

' Herodot. ii. 66. Diod. i. 84. the dog he means the so-called jackal, 

• Diod. i. 87. and is right.— S. B.] 

' Herodot. ii. 77. ' Perhaps a mistake arising from the 

* Diod. i. 84. Cynocephalus being the sym^l of Thoth 

* Clemens, Strom, lib. t. and of letters: 

• HorapoUo, I. 39, 40, and ii. 22. [By • Iambi, de Myst. sect. y. c. 8. 




which, having accidentally escaped the researches of modem 
excayators, remain unknown. 

The different breeds of dogs in Egypt I have already men- 

tionedy which were kept by chasseurs and others for the same 

purposes as at the present day. According to JElian, they were 

the most fleet in pursuit of game ; and the same quickness seems 

tx> have taught them a mode of avoiding the crocodile while 

drinking at the Nile. 'For, fearing to stop in one spot, lest 

-fcliey should be carried off by one of those animals, they run by 

-the edge of the stream, and, licking the water as they pass, they 

xnay be said to snatch, or even to steal, a draught, before their 

^nemy lurking beneath the surface can rise to the attack.'^ 

Iliis is not the only remarkable peculiarity mentioned by 

lian,' who had heard (for the naturalist always defends him- 

tU with the words ' I hear' ) that socialism already existed 

a,ziiong the dogs of Memphis, who, depositing all they stole in 

oxi.e place, met together to enjoy a common repast. 

I now proceed to notice an error which has been repeated by 

ancient Greek and Boman writers, respecting the god Anubis, 

wlio is universally represented by them with the head of a dog. 

It would be tedious to enumerate the names of those who have 

repeated this fable. The dog was universally believed by all 

^t the Egyptians themselves to be the peculiar type of Anubis. 

Boman sculptors went so far as to represent him with the dog's 

^^ they thought he bore in the temples of the Nile ; and the 

igiummce of poets and others who persisted in describing Anubis 

^ a dog-headed god, is only equalled by that which led them to 

giTe a female character to the sphinx. It was the jackal, and 

not the dog, which was the emblem of Anubis ; and if this god 

VBi really worshipped as the presiding deity of Cynopolis, as 

Knne have maintained,^ it was probably in consequence of the 

jidcBl and the dog having been included under the same generic 

denomination. But no representation occurs of Anubis with the 

liaad of that animal. The dog is rarely, if ever, found except as 

a domestic animal in Egyptian sculpture : the only one I re- 

nember to have seen, which had any reference to a sacred 

mbjecty was in a mutilated statue representing a man seated 

beneath the animal's head, in the attitude common to figures 

finmd in the tombs; and the hieroglyphics accompanying it 

plainly show it to have been a funeral group. But it is possible 

* jEIUb, Nat. An. ri. 53. 

• Ibid. vii. 19. 

' Strabo, xvii. p. 558. 
T 2 



that eyen this was intended to represent a jackal ; for unless the 
exact character of the latter has been carefully maintained, it is 
difficulty in a mutilated statue, to distinguish between it and the 
Egyptian fox-dog; and from its forming part of a funeral group, 
and therefore connected with Anubis, it is more likely to have 
been intended for the jackal than the dog. I have restored the 
lost portions of it in the drawing given in woodcut No. 540. The 
hieroglyphics are eyidently of early time ; and if it was really 
intended to represent a dog, it only goes to prove that this 
animal was also dedicated to Anubis. 

The fidelity of the dog and its utility to man were no doubt 
the original causes of its being admitted amongst the sacred 
animals of Egypt; and it is evident from the paintings that 
it enjoyed great privileges as a domestic animal, being the 
constant companion of persons of all classes, as in European 
countries at the present day. It accompanied them in their 
walks, assisted them in the chase, and was kept as a favourite 
in the house. 

A similar regard is not extended to it by the modem Egyp- 
tians, whose Moslem prejudices consider it an unclean animaL 
Even a MdleM, the most liberal of the four sects in favour of the 
dog, would not touch the nose or the wet hairs of this animal 
without thinking himself defiled and bound to submit to purifica- 
tion from the contact. The dog is therefore seldom admitted 
into the houses of the Moslems, who even believe that, indepen- 
dently of its being unclean, its presence within doors keeps away 
the good spirits from their abode. But it is not ill-treated, and 
those which are wild in the streets are fed by morsels occa- 
sionally thrown to them during a repast ; and small tanks of 
water placed at the comers of the streets are regularly filled for 
their use. The name of dog applied to any man is, as might be 
supposed, a great term of reproach among the Moslems, * a Jew's 
dog,' the lowest caste of dog, being the unapproachable climax ; 
but it appears somewhat inconsistent in us to choose the dog as 
the most uncomplimentary designation, when we are disposed to 
speak so favourably of that faithful animal. This, however, may 
be accounted for by early impressions received from the Bible,^ 
and some other causes. 

The name of the wolf, in Coptic ouonsh, is satisfactorily 

» With the Jews a ' dead dog ' was the greatest term of reproach. Cf. 2 Sam. xvi. 9, 
2 Kings viii. 13, for the term *dog.* 

Chap. XIV.] THE WOLF. 277 

flhown from the hieroglyphics to hare been the same in olden 
times ; the figure of the wolf, like the other wild beasts, being 
iuxx>mpanied by its phonetic name^ in the paintings of Beni- 
JBEassan. It was peculiarly sacred at Lycopolis,^ in Upper 
JElgypty where wolf -mummies are found in small excavated 
^ihambers in the rock, behind the modern town of E'Sioot ; and 
-^he coins of the Lycopolite nome, in the time of the Empire, 
on their reverse a wolf, with the word Lyco. *In that 
Lome alone of all Egypt,' says Plutarch,^ 'the people eat 
}f because the wolf does, whom they revere as a god;' 
id Diodorus^ includes the wolf among the animals which 
)r death were treated with the same respect as during their 
J -jf etime^ like the cat, ichneumon, dog, hawk, ibis, crocodile, 

Herodotus * observes that the wolves of Egypt were scarcely 

^r than foxes ; Aristotle ^ considers them inferior in size to 

of Greece ; and Pliny ' says they were small and inactive, 

'hich is fully proved by modem experience. In their habits 

ley are also unlike the wolves of Europe, as they never range 

packs, but generally prowl about singly ; nor do I ever re- 

L^mber having seen more than two together, either in the desert 

in the valley of the Nile. Sonnini's erroneous assertion, that 

"•^e wolf and fox are not found in Egypt, I have already noticed ; 

^i^iid, as the learned Larcher justly observes, the historian of Hali- 

^^massus, 'an Asiatic by birth, must have known the jackal^ 

y\dck was common to all Asia Minor, as well as the wolf; and 

tf lie knew them both, it was impossible for him to have mistaken 

^jackal for a wolf.' 

Herodotus mentions^ a festival which still continued to be 
^hrated during his visit to Egypt, and which was reported to 
hre been instituted to commemorate the descent of King Bhamp- 
onitus to the lower regions, where he played at dice with Ceres. 
'On this occasion,' says the historian, * one of the priests being 
elad in a cloak of tissued stuff, made on the very day of the cere- 
mony, and having his eyes covered, is conducted to the road 
JeadLig to the temple of Ceres, and there left. Two wolves then 
take him to the temple of the goddess, distant about 20 stades 
(2jk miles) from the city, and afterwards bring him back to the 

* An$k : it wat also applied to a kind of * Herodot. ii. 67. 

B. * Aristotle, Hist. Anim. lib. viii. 28. 

» Stnbo, xTii. p. 559. ' Pliny, viii. 22. 

* Plat, dc laid. a. 72. « Diodor. i. 83. • Herodot ii. 122. 


same spot/ Herodotus' very naturally treats this idle story as 
it deserves. But we may infer, from the wolf being mentioned 
with the goddess Ceres, that the animal was connected with some 
of the rites of Isis; and Eusebius^ states that the wolf was 
honoured in Egypt because Isis with her son Horns, being on 
the point of encountering Typho, was assisted by Osiris under 
the form of a wolf. 

Diodorus,^ after saying ' that some suppose the wolf to have 
been honoured on account of the affinity observed between it 
and the dog/ states that * they give another but more fabulous 
reason/ which is similar to that mentioned by Eusebius. * They 
pretend/ says the historian, * that Osiris came from Hades in the 
shape of a wolf, to assist Isis and her son Horns, when preparing 
to give battle to Typho; and the latter being defeated, the 
conquerors paid religious respect to the animal to whose appear* 
ance they attributed the victory. Others affirm that during an 
invasion of the Ethiopians, a large body of wolves having routed 
the enemy and driven them out of Egypt, beyond the city of 
Elephantine, their worship became established in that part of 
the country, which received the name of the Lycopolite Nome.' 
With this fable may be connected the statement of Macrobius,' 
that ' the Thebiuc city Lycopolis venerates Apollo (Horns) and 
the wolf with similar honours ;' though his etymological sug- 
gestions abound with the combined fancies of the Bomans and 
the Greeks. 

Fabulous as are these tales, they tend to show that the 
worship of this animal had reference to some of the festivals 
of Isis ; and future researches at Lycopolis may enable us to 
discover the relation between the goddess and the sacred animal 
of that city. According to Herodotus,* the bodies of wolves 
which died in different parts of Egypt were not transported to 
Lycopolis, but were buried in the place where they happened 
to be found ; but it is probable that they did not receive the 
same honours throughout the country, and those places where 
the sheep was particularly sacred could scarcely be expected to 
venerate the enemies of their favourite animal. 

^lian,^ indeed, confines the worship of the wolf to certain 
parts of the country in the expression * those Egyptians who 
venerate the wolf.* But his idea of their rooting up the wolf- 

* Euseb. Prappar. Evang. ii. 1. * Macrob. Saturn, i. 19. 

« Diodor. i. 83 and 88. « Herodot. ii. 67. » iElian, ix. 18. 



hejie is one of the many idle tales of ancient writers, who paused 
not to inquire if a plant bore the same name in other countries 
by which it was known to them, or even if it was a production of 
the soiL The worship of the wolf was perhaps connected with 
that of the fox and jackal ; and the caves of Lycopolis present 
the mommies of these last, as well as of the animal whose name 
it bore. 

The jackal is the invariable emblem of Anubis. The deity 
the head of that animal, and it even occurs in the place of the 
od himself. For some mysterious reason it is always of a black 
<?olonr ; and the length of its legs, and generally elongated form, 
^liow that their mode of representing it was conventional. This 
probably owing to their confining themselves to the imita- 
ion of an early style, from which later artists were forbidden to 
^party as was usually the case in the religious subjects of the 
tians. The head of the jackal was even given to one of 
e four genii of Amenti, whose figures were attached to 
portions of the viscera of human mummies, and 
liose heads form the covers of the four vases deposited 
the tombs. Foxes and jackals are very common in Egypt, 
ey are inferior in size to the generality of those in Europe 
d Asia, which accords with a remark of Denon, that the 
Riumals of Egypt are a smaller variety them in some other 
^^ountriea; but their habits are similar. Every evening, about 
BHiiset^ the jackals issue from their caves or lurking-places. 
"I^heny calling each other together by loud and continued 
^Umlings, accompanied by an occasional bark, they leave the 
fountains, and scatter themselves over the plains in quest 
^ food; and it is amusing to see them enjoy a plentiful 
tepast of locusts, whenever a swarm of those insects settles in 
tbe country. 

The Ichneumon* was particularly worshipped by the Hera- 

deopolites,^ who lived in a nome situated in the valley of the 

Xile, a little to the south of the entrance to the modem 

prcrrince of the Fyo6m. It was ' reputed sacred to Lucina and 


The principal cause of the respect paid to this animal was 
sapposed to be its hostility to the crocodile, an animal held in 

> ViTtm ichneumon, Linn, ; the If an* hawk, like the Apis, occur. The story that 

irusta, Cuo, ; or Herpestet, lUig, [Bronze it cannot be killed by the bite of a snake 

figures of the Ichneumon, which hare on is uncertain. — S. B.] 

xiai back the raie, disk, Tulture, and ' £lian, z. 47. 



great abhorrence by the people of Heracleopolis. It destroy^K 
its eggs, and some believed that it attacked the crocodile its^I] 
Diodorus ^ affirms that it broke the eggs of the crocodile, i^l^-c 
for the sake of food,^ but from a benevolent motive towacr^ 
mankind, whose welfare it sought to promote by killing t^Ae 
offspring of that odious animal. But this idea probably aroM 
from its having been observed not to eat the young when o:^a 
large size and ready to leave the egg, preferring, as no doubt it 
did, with the taste of an epicure, a fresh-laid egg, or at least one 
which had not so far undergone a change as to contain withia it 
the hard and scaly substance of a full-formed crocodile. 'Were 
it not/ adds the historian, 'for the service it thus renders to 
the country, the river would become unapproachable, from the 
multitude of crocodiles ; and it even kills them when fuU-groim, 
by means of a wonderful and almost incredible contrivance. 
Covering itself with a coat of mud, the ichneumon watches the 
moment when the crocodile, coming out of the river, sleeps (as 
is its custom) upon a sand-bank, with its open mouth (turned 
towards the wind), and, adroitly gliding down its throat, pene- 
trates to its entrails. It then gnaws through its stomach, and, 
having killed its enemy, escapes without receiving any injury.' 
However unworthy of credit this story may be, the destruction 
of the crocodile's eggs by the ichneumon is not improbable, both 
on account of its preferring eggs to every kind of food, and from 
its inhabiting the banks of the river where those animals deposit 
them in the sand. And though the part of the country in which 
the ichneumon abounds lies more to the north than the usual 
abode of the crocodile at the present day, there is little doubt 
that in former times the latter frequented Lower Egypt; and 
this is proved by the fact of its having been the sacred animal 
of the Arsinoite nome. 

It is, indeed, fortunate for the crocodiles of the present day 
that ichneumons no longer abound in the same districts, and 
that their degenerate descendants have not inherited the skill 
of those mentioned by Diodorus. The chivalrous adventures of 
the ichneumon have ceased to be recorded by the more matter- 
of-fact researches of modem naturalists; and the interests 
of the two animals no longer clash, as in the days of their 

The nome of Heracleopolis, the Fyoom, and the vicinity of 

1 Diodor. i. 87. « Ibid. i. 35. 


CSairOy still continue to be the chief resorts of the ichneumon ; and 
it is sometimes tamed and kept by the modem as by the ancient 
Egyptians, to protect their houses from rats. But from its great 
predilection for eggs and poultry, they generally find the injury 
it does far outbalances the good derived from its services as a 
sabstitute for the cat. In form it partakes of the weasel ; with 
which it was formerly classed, under the head of Yiverra. It is 
the Mangousta of Buffon, and the Nims, Tiffeh, and Kot Pha- 
laoon, or 'Pharaoh's Gat,' of the Arabs. Its length is 2 feet 
7 inches, measuring from the end of the tail to the tip of the 
nose, the tail being 1 foot 4 inches, and it is covered with 
long bristly hair. Though easily tamed, ichneumons are seldom 
naed by the modem Egyptians, for the reasons already given. 
Unless taken very young, and accustomed to the habits of a 
domestic life, they always prefer the fields to the confinement 
of the house ; and those I kept at Cairo, though perfectly tame 
Mid approachable, were ever ready to escape to the garden when 
Ml opportunity offered. And, whether from a jealousy common 
^ two of the same profession, or from some natural hostility, 
I always found an irreconcilable hatred to exist between the 
^eomons and the cats of the mSnagey which last generally 
avoided a second rencontre with a full-grown ichneumon. Much 
^tioversy has existed on the question whether ichneumons 
*^ tamed, and used in the houses of modem Egypt. Some 
we affirmed that they were frequently domesticated, others 
^ this was incompatible with their nature. The truth, as in 
^y similar instances, lies between both. Some have most 
Questionably been reared, and have served the purpose of 
<^ as I know from positive experience, as well as from the 
Ksports of others. The two in my own possession at Cairo were 
^ imperfectly tamed, being caught when full-grown ; but I 
ttw one in the house of Lavoratori perfectly domesticated, 
against which the only complaint was its propensity to appro- 
priate the eggs and poultry. On the other hand, it may be 
oherved that the custom of keeping them is by no means 
general, and the few which are accidentally met with are rather 
objects of curiosity than utility. 

The paintings of Thebes, Memphis, and other parts of Egypt 
frequently represent this animal clandestinely searching for 
eggi^ or carrying off young birds from their nests amidst the 
water-plants of the lakes ; and some representations of it in 
hnmze confirm the authority of those ancient writers who place 


it among the sacred animals of Egypt Plntarch^ attributes the 
religious respect of the Egyptians for the ox, sheep, and ichneu- 
mon, to their utility to mankind.^ * The people of Lemnos in 
like manner venerate the lark, from its finding out and breaking 
the eggs of the caterpillar ; and the ThessaUans ^ the stork, because 
on its first appearance in their country it destroys the numeions 
serpents with which it is then infested. They have therefore 
made a law that whoever kills one of these birds should suffer 
banishment.' ' The asp, the weasel, and the beetle, on the other 
hand, are worshipped on account of certain resemblances, obscure 
as they are, which those creatures are thought to present to the 
operations of the Divine Power.' 

Herodotus says little respecting the ichneumon,^ except 
that it received the same honours of sepulture as the domestic 
animals. But iEUan* tells us that it destroyed the eggs of 
the asp, and fought against that poisonous reptile, which appears 
the most plausible reason for the veneration in which it was 
held by the Egyptians. Pliny,* Strabo, and ^lian^ relate 
the manner in which it attacked the asp, and was protected 
from the effect of its poisonous bite, ^lian says it covered 
itself with a coat of mud, which rendered its body proof against 
the fangs of its enemy; or if no mud was near, it wetted its 
body with water and rolled itself in the sand. Its nose, whidb 
alone remained exposed, was then enveloped in several folds of 
its tail, and it thus commenced the attack. If bitten, its death 
was inevitable ; ^ but all the efforts of the asp were unavailing 
against its artificial coat of mail, and the ichneumon, attacking 
it on a sudden, seized it by the throat and immediately killed it 

Strabo^ gives a similar account of its covering itself with 
mud in order to attack the crocodile ; and adds, that its mode of 
killing the asp was by seizing it by the head or tail, and drag- 
ging it into the river. In Pliny and Aristotle's description ^* of 
the ichneumon, we find the same story respecting the coat of 
mud in which it was clad for an encounter with the asp ; and 
the former adds, that on perceiving its enemy, it deferred the 
attack until it had called to its assistance other ichneumons. 
But modem experience proves that, without having recourse to 

' Plat, de laid. s. 74. * Contrary to the common storj of its 

' Cicero, de Nat. Deor. lib. i. eating a particular herb as an antidote, 

' Conf. Plin. z. 23. * Herodot. ii. 77. like the vdran subsequently mentioned. 

* ^lian, Nat. An. Ti. c. 38. * Strabo, ivii. p. 558. 

* Plin. viii. c 24. ' iGlian, iii. 22. >^ Aristot. Hist. Anim. iz. 6. 


a coiraas of mud, the ichneumon fearlessly attacks snakes ; and 
the moment it peiceives them ^ raise their head from the ground, 
it seizes them at the back of the neck, and with a single bite lay a 
them dead before it 

IModorus affirms^ that the cat was regarded as the destroyer 

of the asp and other deadly serpents. But though the cat is 

known to attack them, its habits are not such as to ensure its 

raooess in these encounters. Eyen in attacking the scorpion, 

few hare the address to kill that reptile, till it has been acquired 

by experience, which with the asp would be far too dearly bought. 

The way in which cats attack the scorpion is curious. They 

torn it over on its back by a blow of their claws upon its side, 

^d then placing one foot on the body they tear off the tail with 

the other ; and thus deprived of its weapon of offence, it is killed, 

ttid sometimes eaten, without further risk. 

The Arabs relate that when the imran, or lizard monitor, 
attacks a snake, and is bitten by its yenomous fangs, it immediately 
i^ to a particular herb which grows in the desert ; and eating 
i^e of it, and rubbing the wounded part upon the leayes, it 
layers from the effect of the poison and returns to the fight. 
One assured me that he had witnessed an encounter of this kind, 
^ which he perceiyed the effects of the herb wheneyer the 
hard was wounded by its adversary ; and having plucked it up 
Coring their continued encounter, he saw the wounded lizard 
^ in vain this antidote, and die of the bite. But the tales of 
tile Arabs are not always true ; and this cannot fail to recall 
tile ancient belief in the properties of the Elaphoboscon ^ and 

Pliny mentions several plants said to be remedies against the 
hitea of serpents ; ^ and Cicero* asserts that 'the wild goats of 
Cnte, wheal wounded by poisonous arrows, fled to a herb called 
IKctamnus, which they had no sooner tasted than the arrows 
iotthwith fell from their bodies.' This is repeated in other words 
by Aristotle and Pliny,* and by Virgil.' 

^ PUbj (Tiu. 24) sayt, it only eats the ' Virg. Mn. zii. 412: 

~^ _ . ^. ' DictamDum genitrix Cretea carpit ab 

* Diodor. i. 87. I^^ ** ^ 

Jg^ ""*^ thii to be the pmnnip. p^beribiw caulem foliU, et flora 

"" .'J comantem 

« nil. xriL 22, e< ofiW. Purpureo: non ilia fens incognita 

» Ckero, de Nat. Deor. lib. ii. ^^^ * 

• Plin. xxT. 8: «SUtim decidentlbue Oramina, cum Urgo volucre. h»«ere 
tdii.* Arittot. Amm. iz. 6. sagitti.' 



With regard to Allan's remark^ of the ichnemnon being 
both male and female, we may conclude that, like the notion 
respecting the spotted hyaena (or Marafeen of Ethiopia), it 
originated in a peculiarity common to both those animals ; and 
the ludicrous statement afterwards given by the naturalist was 
supplied by a misguided imagination. The yioinity of the 
Heracleopolite and Arsinoite nomes, where two ftnimiila the most 
hostile to one another were revered, seems to have led to serious 
and repeated disputes. And to such a point was their animosity 
carried, that even the respect with which the national vanity of 
an Egyptian might be expected to regard a monument so 
universally celebrated as the Labyrinth, was not sufficient to 
restrain the fanaticism of the Heracleopolites in maintaining the 
cause of their favourite animal.' 

The representations of the hyaena in the paintings of Thebes 
show it to have been looked upon as an enemy to the flocks and 
fields, and to have been hunted by the peasants, who either shot 
it with arrows or caught it in traps. No sculpture in the 
temples, and no emblem in the tombs furnish the least authority 
for supposing it sacred, though some have thought it was 
dedicated to the Egyptian Mars.^ It is very common throughont 
^gyp^ ; Ai^d the paintings of Thebes, Beni-Hassan, and the tombs 
near the Pyramids, show it to have frequented the Upper and 
Lower Country in ancient times as at the present day. Its 
Coptic name is hoite^ — in Egyptian Jiet or heti, and the same 
by which the hieroglyphics prove it to have been known in the 
ancient Egyptian language. 

The favourite food of this animal seems to be the ass. It 
sometimes attacks cattle and men, and is particularly dreaded by 
the modem peasants ; but I never found one which ventured to 
attack a man who fearlessly advanced towards it» except when 
rendered savage by a wound, or by the desire natural to all 
animals of defending its young. On these occasions it is a rude 
and dangerous antagonist. Its general mode of attacking a man 
is by rushing furiously against him, and throwing him do?ni by a 
blow of its large bony head ; and in a sandy place it is said first 
to throw up a cloud of dust with its hind legs, and then to 
close with its opponent, while disconcerted by this wily artifice. 

^ iElian, An. x. 47. ' Plio. xxxvi. 13. lists of food of the time of Cheops it is 

' At the time of the 4th Dynasty the registered as eaten. (Lepains, * Denkm.,' 

,hy»na is represented as a domesticated Abt. II. Bl. 25.) — S. B. 

animal, or kind of game ; and in one of the « p OI*TC« 

OuF. XIV.] THE EYXSA. 285 

The AbysBinians have an extraordinary fancy respecting the 

linena. They affirm that a race of people who inhabit their 

coantry, and who usoally follow the trade of blacksmiths^ have 

the power of changin^^ their form at pleasure, and assuming that 

of the hva*na. I had often heard this talc from natives of 

Jkbyasinia living in Kgypt, and having been told many equally 

extravagant I was not surprised at their credulity. Meeting 

accidentally with an Englishman who had lived about thirty years 

tliere, and who on his way to Europe was staying a few days at 

Cairo, I mentioned, in the course of conversation, this singular 

wylion, with an evident demonstration of my own disbelief, and 

with an inquiry whether it was generally credited. Looking at 

we with an unequivocal expression of pity for my ignorance, he 

answered that no Abyssinian ever doubted it, and tliat no one at 

iU acquainted with that country would think of asking such a 

question. * Every one,' he added, * knows that those blacksmiths 

have the power of assuming the form of a hyo^ua, which as 

tttmmlly belongs to them as that of a man. I had a proof of it 

i few days before I left Abyssinia. For while walking and 

eoBTersing with one of them, I happened to turn my head aside 

far i few instants, and on looking round again I found that he 

hi changed himself, and was trotting away at a little distance 

fiuB me under his new form/ 

The Uymna eroeuta, or spotted hyaena,^ differs from the former 

n iti form and colour, as well as its habits, which are gregarious. 

h appears to answer to the Chaus of Pliny ,^ which I.inna*UR 

phoes in the Felis tril>e. It is the Crocuta of Strabo,' which he 

eoanders a hybrid of the wolf and the dog. I^irgc pai*ks of them 

isfest the country in many parts of Upper Ethiopia, but they do 

101 extend their visits to Nubia or Egypt ; and in former times 

also they seem to have been unknown in Egypt : for the 

Koiplared representations of them show that they were only 

koi^ht out of curiosity as presents to the Pharaohs, to be pliii*e<l 

SBMing the strange animals of foreign countries in the vivaria, 

or aoological gardens, of the royal domain. Nor is there any 

pofaability of their having held a place amongst the sacn^d 

either of Egypt or Ethiopia. 

The respect with which the cat was tn^ate^l in Egypt was 

h as few of the sacred animals enjoyeil. Its worship was 

' TVf MftnfMO or Manfcfb of Berber ' \*\in. viii. W*: *YtT\^u» liipi, |ii\r«|tiruiu 

|4 <wmBMr. niAculis.* ' Mrab", avii. \*. 6J3. 



universally acknowledged thronghont the country ;* and thougli, 
in some districts, the honours paid to it were less marked than 
in the immediate neighbourhood of Bubastis, its sanctity was 
nowhere denied ; and the privileges accorded to the emblem of 
the Egyptian Diana were as scrupulously maintained in the 
Thebwd as in Lower Egypt. * Never/ says Cicero,^ * did anyone 
hear tell of a cat having been killed by an Egyptian ;' and so 
bigoted were they in their veneration for this animal, that neither 
the influence of their own magistrates, nor the dread of the 
Boman name, could prevent the populace from sacrificing to 
their vengeance an unfortuniate Boman who had accidentally 
killed a cat.^ When one of them died a natural death, all the 
inmates of the house shaved their eyebrows in token of mourn- 
ing, and, having embalmed the body, they buried it with great 
pomp; so that, as Diodorus^ observes, ^they not only respected 
some animals, as cats, ichneumons, dogs, and hawks, during 
their lifetime, but extended the same honours to them after 

All writers seem to agree about the respect shown to the cat 
throughout the country ; we can therefore with difficulty credit 
the assertion of a late author,^ who states, * that in Alexandria, 
one of these animals was sacrificed to Horus,* even though the 
city was inhabited by a mixed population, in great part composed 
of Greeks. Those which died in the vicinity of Bubastis • were 
sent to that city, to repose within the precincts of the place 
particularly devoted to their worship. Others were deposited in 
certain consecrated spots set apart for the purpose near the town 
where they had lived. In all cases the expense of the funeral 
rites depended on the donations of pious individuals, or on the 
peculiar honours paid to the goddess of whom t&ey were the 
emblem. Many were, no doubt, sent by their devout masters to 
Bubastis itself, from an impression that they would repose in 
greater security near the abode of their patron ; and to the same 
feeling which induced their removal to a choice place of burial 
may be attributed the abundance of cat-mummies in the vicinity 
of Sheikh Hassan, where a small rock temple marks the site of 
the Specs Artemidos.'^ 

Those cats which during their lifetime had been worshipped 

1 Strabo, zrii. p. 559. iii. 24, quoted hy Larcher. Herodot. ii. 

« Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 29. 301. • Herodot. ii. 67. 

» Diodor. i. 83. « Ibid. » 'Egypt and Theb**,' p. 379. 
* Steztni Empiricus, Pyirhon. Uypotyp. 

Chap. XIV.] THE CAT. 287 

in the temple of Bast, as the living types of that goddess, were 
doubtless treated after death with additional honours, and buried 
in a far more sumptuous manner. This distinguished post raised 
them from the rank of emblems to that of representatives of the 
ddty herself. The Cynocephalus kept in the temple of Herm- 
opolis, or the sacred hawk adored at Heliopolis, enjcjyed in like 
manner a consideration far beyond the rest of their species, 
though all were sacred to Thoth and Ba, the gods of those cities ; 
and this remark equally applies to all the sacred animals of 

I have already observed, that in places where the deities to 

ivhom particular animals were consecrated held a distinguished 

post in the sanctuary, the ceremony of removing them after 

death to another city was dispensed with. We consequently find 

that the bodies of cats were embalmed and buried at Thebes and 

other towns, where the rites of Bast were duly observed : and if 

some individuals, as already stated, preferred, from a bigoted 

fuicy or extravagant affection, to send the body of a favourite to 

the Necropolis of Bubastis, it was done with the same view as 

when a zealous votary of Osiris requested, on his death-bed, that 

his body should be removed from his native town to the city of 

Abydus. This, as Plutarch says,* * was in order that it might 

appear to rest in the same grave with Osiris himself;' but it was 

inerely a caprice, in no way arguing a common custom. A few 

instances of a similar kind probably induced Herodotus to infer 

the general practice of removing the cats which had died in 

other places to Bubastis, as the ibis to Hermopolis.^ 

After showing how prolific Egypt was in domestic animals, 
Herodotus mentions ^ two peculiarities of the cats, by which he 
Mounts for their numbers not increasing to the extent they 
otherwise would. But these, like other prodigies of the good old 
times, have ceased in Egypt, and the actions of cats, like other 
things, have been reduced to the level of commonplace realities. 
He tells us that, ' when a house caught fire, the only thought of 
the Eg3^tians was to preserve the lives of the cats. Banging 
themselves therefore in bodies round the house, they endeavoured 
to rescue those animals from the flames, totally disregarding the 
destruction of the property itself ; but, notwithstanding all their 
precautions, the cats, leaping over the heads and gliding between 

> Pint de Isid. s. 20. * Herodot ii. 67. 

* Herodot. ii. 46 ; and XXitoi, rii. 27. 



the legs of the bystanders^ rushed into the flames, as if impell&«/ 
by divine agency to self-destruction.* Were this true, the love of 
their domestic animals must frequently have sacrificed seyera/ 
contiguous houses during their exertions to prevent the suicide 
of a cat; but however great the grief of the Egyptians in 
witnessing . these wonderful cases of a feline felo de sejyfe 
may make some allowance for the exaggeration of a Greek,^ and 
doubt the neglect of their burning dwellings stated by the 

That their numbers do not diminish in Egypt is perceptibly 
felt by the present inhabitants of Cairo, who are frequently obliged 
to profit by the privilege of sending their surplus cat population 
to the house of the Eadi, where a fund is charitably provided for 
their maintenance. When they are found to have increased, as 
is often the case, to a troublesome extent in a house, the inmates 
send a basketful of cats to be set loose in the Eadi's courtyard, 
without much regard to the feelings of the neighbours, who 
happen to live in so disagreeable a vicinity. Daily, at the asset* 
a person employed for this purpose brings a certain quantity 
of meat, cut into small pieces, which is thrown into the middle 
of the courtyard, and a prodigious number of cats is seen 
about that hour coming down from the walls on all sides, to 
partake of their expected repast. The weak and the newly- 
arrived fare but badly, the whole being speedily carried off by 
the veterans and the most pugnacious of the party — the former 
excelling in rapidity of swallowing, the latter in appropriating, 
and many only obtain a small portion while the claws and teedi 
of their stronger competitors are occupied. 

A similar feeling in favour of this animal provides food for 
other communities of cats in various parts of the city; and 
though they no longer enjoy the same honours as their pre* 
decessors, they are invariably well treated by the modem 
Egyptians, from their utility in freeing the houses from the 
numerous rats and reptiles which so often infest them. Such 
favourites are they, that, while the dog is looked upon as an 
unclean animal, whose touch is carefully avoided by the Moslem, 
the cat is often allowed to partake of the same dish with its 

' I haye had occasion to observe that instances of this may be pointed out in his 

Herodotus has sometimes sacrificed truth Euterpe, 35 and 36. 

to the pleasure of setting forth an amusing ' In the afternoon, between midday and 

contrast to Greek customs, and striking his sunset, 
readers or hearers with surprise. Sereral 


Qqp. XIV.] THE CAT. 289 

master, unless there be reason to suppose it has been con- 
taminated hj eating a scorpion or other unclean reptile. 

The origin of the respect paid to the cat by the ancient 

Egyptians, was owing to the benefits it was thought to confer on 

mankind by destroying various noxious reptiles.^ And though, 

as I have already observed, Diodorus, in considering it as 

the enemy of the asp and other serpents, gives it more credit 

than it really deserved, its utility in a country like Egypt 

must have been universally allowed. This predilection for it 

is frequently alluded to in the paintings, where a favourite 

eat is represented accompanying the master of the house in 

his fowling excursions, or when seated at home with a party 

d friends. 

'The care they took of the cat and other sacred animals,' 
says Diodorus,^ * was remarkable. For these and the ichneumons 
they prepared bread sopped in milk, or fish of the Nile cut up 
into small pieces, and each was supplied with the kind of food 
hest suited to its habits and taste. As soon as they died they 
^W carried amidst bitter lamentations to the embalmers, and 
^^ bodies having been prepared with oil of cedar, and other 
^lomatic substances capable of preserving them, were deposited 
in sacred vaults.* 

Numerous embalmed cats are found in tombs at Thebes and 
<Aer places in Upper and Lower Egypt.* They are frequently 
ieoompanied by the mummies of dogs — probably from these two 
l^eing looked upon as the favourite domestic animals of the 
ftwntry. They are generally enveloped in the same manner — 
the legs bound up with the body, and the head alone left in 
its real shape. This, from the ears and painted face, readily 
indicates the animal within the bandages ; which are sometimes 
of Tarious colours, arranged in devices of different forms. Cat- 
amnmies were sometimes deposited in wooden boxes or coffins ; 
hit in all cases they were wrapped in linen bandages, which, as 
Uodorus observes,* were employed for enveloping the bodies of 
cats and other sacred animals.^ 

According to Plutarch,^ the cat was placed upon the top of 

* Di«ior. L 87. * Ibid. i. 83. * There was aUo a favourite or more 

* Tbej are found bandaged in different expensive way of depositing their mummies 
***Bert, and generally with much care, in calves of wood or bronze, which had the 
MMetimes made up with the bandage re- form of a cat, and the pedestal in shape 

the shape of the head of the animal of the hieroglyph of the name Bast or 

» it— S. B. Bubastis.— S. B. 

* Diodor. L 83. • Plut. de Isid. s. 63. 

VOL. in. u 


the sistrum, *to denote the moon;^ its variety of colour, its 
activity in the night, and the peculiar circumstances attending 
its fecundity, making it a proper emblem of that luminary.* For 
it is reported, that at first it brings forth one, then two, afterwards 
three, and so on ; adding one to each former birth till it reaches 
seven ; so that it brings forth twenty-eight in all, corresponding 
to the several degrees of light which appear during the moon s 
revolutions. ^And though,' he adds, 'such things may appear 
to carry an air of fiction with them, yet it may be depended upon, 
that the pupils of her eyes seem to fill up and to grow larger 
upon the full of the moon, and to decrease again and diminish in 
their brightness on its waning.' The notion of the cat haying 
been emblematic of the moon was probably owing to the Greeks 
supposing Bast or Bubastis, the Egyptian Diana, to be related 
to the moon, as in their own mythology. That it was erroneous 
is evident, from the fact of the moon being represented in the 
Egyptian Pantheon by the god Thoth; but it may be more 
readily pardoned than many of the misconceptions of the Greeks. 
According to the fable which pretended to derive the worship of 
animals from the assumption of their various shapes by the gods* 
when striving to elude the pursuit of Typho, or the wicked 
attacks of mankind,^ the goddess Diana was said to have takei^ 
the form of a cat. 

The worship of the lion was particularly regarded in th^ 
city of Leontopolis ;^ and other cities adored this animal a5 
the emblem of more than one deity. It was the symbol of 
strength,* and therefore typical of the Egyptian Hercules. With 
this idea the Egyptian sculptors frequently represented » 
powerful and victorious monarch accompanied by it in battle ; 
though, £ts Diodorus^ says of Osymandyas, some suppose the 
king to have been really attended by a tame lion on those 

Macrobius,' Proclus,' Horapollo,* and others, state that the 
lion was typical of the sun — an assertion apparently borne out 

' There is no reason for believing the ' Diodor. i. 86. Conf. Plut. de Isid. s. 

cat represented the moon, but it did the 72. Ovid. Met. v. 323. 

sun, for the reason of the dilatation of • Diodor. i. 84. Strabo, xvii. Porphyr. 

the pupil of the eye. The male cat symbol- de Abstin. iv. 9. £lian, Hist. An. xiL 7. 

ised the sun, or Ka, and as such is repre- Plin. v. 10. * Clem. Strom, lib. r. 

tented in the vignettes of the 17th chapter * Diodor. i. 48. 

of the Ritual, destroying the serpent * Macrob. Saturn, i. 26. 

Aphdphis. The female cat was emblematic ' Proclus, de Sacrific. : ' Soma ftoimali 

of BajBt or Bubastis, also a solar deity. — are solar, as lions and cocks.' 

S. B. • HorapoUo, i. 17. 

.] THE LION. 291 

f the sculptures, which sometimes fig:uro it borne u]K)n the 
leks of two lions. It is also combined with other emblems 
ipeitaiuing to the god Ba. 

I have had occasion to mention a god and several goddesses 
bo bore the head of a lion, independently of the Egyptian 
Bast or Bubastis. This deity had the head of a cat, or of a 
;^ and the demonstrative sign following her name whs some- 
's the hitter, in lieu of the cat, her ])eculiar emblem. Hence 
evident that the Egyptians not only incIud<Ml those two 
limals in the same family, but considen^d them analogous ty]>es. 
hiflt howfvt'r, seems only to a]>ply to tlie female, and not to 
ive ezti'ndfMl to the male lion, which was thought to partake 
r a different character, more peculiarly emblematic of vigour 
lid strength. 

Macn>bius pretends that the Egyptians employed tlie lion to 
vpiesent that {uirt of the heavens where the sun, during its 
uiial revolution, was in its greatest forci*, ' the sign Lc^ lieing 
edled the alKMln of the sun;' and the differtait ])urts of this 
Moud are n^puted by him to have indicated various s<*asons, and 
tte incr^-asing or d(K:reusing ratio of the solar power.^ Tlie head 
k rap]Mises to ha V(f denoted the 'present tinu*;'^ which Honi- 
|q11o intfrrprets as the type of vigilance ; and thr fire of its ey(*s 
vai considered analogous to the liery look which the sun con- 
tatlv directs towanls the world. 

In the temple of Dakkeh the lion is n^presi'nted uptm tlie 
iame or sacred table of the ibis, the bird of Hermes: and a 
■oakey, th«* emblem of the same deity, is seen praying to a 
ioi with the disk of the sun U{H)n its head. 

Some also lN*lieve<l the linn to lie sacred to the KL'vptian 
EmTu : and .Klian siiys the Egyptians consecrated it to Vulean,* 
'Mributinir the f(»n*-purt of this animal to fire, and th«' hinder 
put! ti# water.* Simetimes the Hon, the t*niblt>iti nf strength, 
mafrlopted us a type of the king, and sul>stituted for the more 
mml n'pn-sentative of royal {Miwer, the sphinx : which, when 
kgmfd by th«* human head and lion*s Uxly, signified the union 
of intft*llei*tiial and physical strength. 

Ib Siuthern Ethiopia, in the vicinity of the nuMlern tnwn of 
Ehady, tht* linii-li«-adtHl deity seems t4i have U-t-n the chief 

' Sh Ii"S*-»— ih**«; is iodicatei. — the nun '\* th*- *h.'ir! of h^n-rn.* ml !*»«• 

& Bk. * mind ••flht* wnil 1.* Iv^i U« n^hiT niiii*-«i 

• Mtrr K '*it —n. 1 .••'■ hi* hni ihil •frnin^^d. l-i. 

* li»i- I. J<j. M^iTi'biu* (I. JO) aImiiii}^, * .KliAb. N«t. Aa. iii. 7. 

c 2 


object of worship. He holds a conspicaous place in the great 
temple of Wady Owateb, and on the sculptured remains at Wady 
Benat ; at the former of which he is the first in a procession of 
deities, consisting of Ba, Chnoumisy and Ptah, to whom a monarch 
is making offerings. On the side of the propylseum tower ia a 
snake with a lion's head and human arms, rising from alotna; 
and in the small temple at the same place, a god with thiee 
lions' heads and two pair of arms holds the principal place in the 
sculptures. This last appears to be peculiarly marked as a tjpe 
of physical strength ; which is still farther expressed by the 
choice of the number three, indicative of a material or physical 
sense. The lion also occurs in Ethiopia, devouring the prisonen 
or attacking the enemy, in company with a king, as in the 
Egyptian sculptures.^ 

According to Plutarch,' 'the lion was worshipped by the 
Egyptians, who ornamented the doors of their temples with the 
gaping mouth of that animal, because the Nile began to rise 
when the sun was in the constellation of Leo.' Horapollo' 
says lions were placed before the gates of the temples as tb6 
symbols of watchfulness and protection. And * being a type d 
the inundation, in consequence of the Nile rising more abund" 
antly when the sun is in Leo, those who anciently presided 
over the sacred works made the waterspouts and passages of 
fountains in the form of lions.' * The latter remark is in perfect 
accordance with fact — many waterspouts terminating in lions' 
heads still remaining on the temples, ^lian ' also says, that 
* the people of the great city of Heliopolis keep lions in the 
vestibules or areas of the temple of their god (the sun), con- 
sidering them to partake of a certain divine influence, according 
to the statements of the Egyptians themselves;' ^and temples 
are even dedicated to this animal.' But of this, and the state* 
ment of HorapoUo respecting the deity of Heliopolis, under the 
form of a lion, I have already spoken. 

The figure of a lion, or the head and feet of that animal, were 
frequently used in chairs, tables, and various kinds of furniture, 
and as ornamental devices. The same idea has been common in 
all countries, and in the earliest specimens of Greek sculpture. 

^ At Beitoualliy ia the reign of Rameses Plutarch (Sjmpos. iv. 5) speaks of the 

II., an actual lioness, or lion, called Antu- Egyptian fountains ornamented with lions' 

etn-nekht, or *Anath in strength,' accom- heads for the same reason, 

panied the king to the war as is said of ' Horapollo, i. 19. 

Sesostris.— S. B. * Ibid. i. 21. 

* Plut. de Isid. s. 38. Pliny, xviii. 18. • JElian, Nat. Hist. xii. 7. 


■ over the gate of Mycenae are similar to many of those 
icar on the monnments of Egypt.^ 

nammies of lions have been found in Egypt. They 
t indigenous' in the country, and were only kept as 
9i» or as objects of worship. In places where they were 
jiey were treated with great care, being 'fed with 
r meat, and provided with comfortable and si>acious 
« — particularly in Leonto{K)Iis, the City of Lions ; and 
ire sung to them during the hours of their repast' ' The 
VM even permitted to exercise its natural propensity of 
its prey, in order that the exercise might preserve its 
br which purpose a calf was put into the enclosure. 
ring killed the victim thus offered it, the lion retired 
len, proUibly without exciting in the spectators any 

of the cruelty of granting this indulgence to their 
I animal. Wo naturally censure them for sacrificing 
inanity to a religious prejudice ; but while we do so, let 
bfget to anticipate the reply of an Egyptian, by calling 
the fact that many keepers of animals in mo<Iem KuroiMs 
the plc^ of religious feeling, commit a similar act of 

living creatures being given as food to snakes and other 
firequt*ntly for the sole purpose of amusing or astonishing 

panther, loripard, and Felis Chaus do not ap]>ear to have 
md in K^ypt, and the first two only are represented in 
ptures. It id evident that they were merely brought to 
I curiosities ; and their skins, which were in great re^piest 
mental pur[M)!M's, were among the objects presented by 
Dpians in their annual tribute to the Egyptian monarchs. 

the Felis Chaus d(K*s not occur in the sculptun^s, it is a 
r Egypt, inhAl)iting principally the hills on the western 
be Nile, ancl sometimes extending its predatory rambles 
cinity of the Pyraniids. In api)earance it is like a largo 
I a tuft of long black hair on the extremity of its ears, in 

■ in its size, it bears some resemblance to the Ivnx. 

m vu DJinril mill, and a|i|i«*an S«t, or Sha and Jttnn. (Picrret, * I»i« t..* 

tkol«i(v !•• «Tnil-li.«<! thr ^un, p. :i03.>— 8. B. 

Clkia|rtaii ^imI, !!)>«•«, or lleh». * Ud Miai« of the rarlif^t ti>niU thf 

■rt rpiir^-^rotc'l Mi|>|>t>rtm<,; the lii»ii a|i|ieani rriirf»i-nte«l «ilh the a«ual 

laatml of tho in<>iiQt.«m4. a|>- animaU in th« nilU w hoDte^l, aD<l *• n«<'- 

rflvriog to the x"* ^'f Il«'ri£«in qumtly th« lion vm intliKennti*. thiiu.'h 

Wr«t. Thf iwiu )ii>n« aJMi |in>b«blj later driven out uf thi» rtiuntry. 

I arafit vithrr IIuru» and — S. U. " •tllLm, &u. 7. 


The injuries caused by mice and rats, in a country like Egypt, 
were far from suggesting any sanctity in these destructive 
animals; though jerboas, from their more secluded habits and 
smaller numbers, might not have excited the same animosity, 
either among the peasantry or the inhabitants of the towns. Two 
species of jerboa inhabit the country. They are the same which 
Pliny and iElian^ mention as 'mice walking on two legs,' 

* using/ as the latter observes, * their fore-feet for hands/ and 

* leaping, when pursued, upon their hind-legs.* Those with 
bristles, like the hedgehog, described by Pliny ,^ are still common 
in Egypt, principally in the desert, where their abode is among 
stones and fallen rocks. The mummies of mice and rats are said 
to have been found in the tombs of Thebes. 

The rat is figured in the paintings among the animals o^ 
Egypt ; and at Beni-Hassan it is very consistently placed ne»^ 
its natural enemy, the cat.' The number of these destructive 
animals in some parts of Egypt is beyond belief. The fields, tit * 
banks of the riv6r, and the boats themselves, swarm with rat^ 
frequently of immense size ; and even in the deserts I have occa^ 
sionally found a small kind, which Nature enables to live, thougfl 
far removed beyond the reach of water, and apparently with verj 
little means of subsistence. 

The porcupine is also represented in the Egyptian paintings 
among the wild animals of the desert. But it does not appeal^ 
whether, like the modem Italians and others, the ancient Egyp^ 
tians ate its flesh ; and there is no evidence of its having beeic 
sacred, or even kept by them, and embalmed after death. 

The hare was probably lawful food to the Egyptians, though 
forbidden to the Jews ;* and it is frequently shown by the sculp- 
tures to have been among the game caught by their chasseurs. 
It differs in appearance from our own ; and though frequently 
exaggerated by the Egyptian artists, the length of its ears and 
general form show it to be distinct from the European species. 
Some idea may be formed of it from the paintings in the tombs, 
one of which is preserved in the British Museum. Though not 
sacred, it was admitted as an emblem of some of the genii, or 

' .1*!Iian, xy. 26. Tourest the abominable rat of Ra,' or the 

* Plia. X. 65. Those which walk on sun; and again, *Thou eatest the filthy 

two legs should be distinct from the cat,' mau, or * beast* — the rignettes of 

bristly-haired mice. some papyri giving a sow to this chapter. 

■ The name of the rat was pennuy and — S. B. 

it appears in the hieroglyphs. In chap- * Lerit. xi. 6 : * And the hare, because 

ter xxxiii. 1. 2, of the Ritual, the text he cheweth the cud and dividcth not the 

says of the rfr, or snake, * Thou de- hoof ; he is unclean unto you.' 


lower order of gods, who were figured in the funeral subjects 
with the head of this animaL In the hieroglyphics it signified 
* to open/ as Horapollo tells us — being the beginning or prin- 
cipal part of the word tin. 

The elephant is represented in the sculptures, together with 
^he bear, among the presents brought by an Asiatic nation to the 
^Egyptian king. Ivory is also frequently shown to have been 
sent to Egypt from Ethiopia and the interior of Africa ; ^ and 
"Ehe Ptolemies, at a subsequent period, established a hunting-place 
^>n the confines of Abyssinia, for the chase of the elephant. 

It does not appear at any time to have held a post among 
-^6 sacred animals of the country ; even at the island of Elephan- 
"dne, which took its name from it, nothing indicates the worship 
f the elephant. It only occurs there in the name of the place, 
hich in hieroglyphics ^ is styled * the Land of the Elephant.' * 

for does it appear as an object of adoration in the 

mnerous subjects which cover the walls of the ^^^J-^ 
eighbouring island, Philse, where, had it been ^ O 

in the vicinity, it would not have been E^pSlaLe. 
omitted ; and the only instance of it is in a side ^°' ^***' 
entrance to the front court of the temple of Isis, where the god 
'Kilns brings an elephant among the presents to be offered for 
the king to the deity of the place. In Ethiopia the elephant is 
once found in a temple at Wady Bendt, near Shendy, with various 
deities and sacred devices ; but there is no evidence of its having 
V)een worshipped there, or even ranked among the sacred animals 
of that country. 

The hippopotamus was sacred to the god Mars, and wor- 
dupped at Papremis. In former times it seems to have been a 
Ditive of Egypt, and to have lived in the northern part of the 
Niles, The city where it is reputed to have been principally 
kmcmred stood in the Delta; and Herodotus,^ Diodorus,^ and 
others mention it among the animals of Egypt. But it is now 
confined to the upper parts of Ethiopia, being seldom known to 
come into Nubia, or that part lying between the Second and 
FiiBt Cataracts ; and if ever it is seen in Egypt, its visit is purely 
toddentaly and as contrary, as I have already had occasion to 

* Tbu maj hATe b«en the teeth of the the Royal Society of Literature. 
Up|N»potainiis, as well as the tusks of '. Probably from its being the depot of 
<l«plaats, which are mentioned as early as ivory. — S. B. 

Tiwtliines III.— S. B. * 'Herodot. ii. 59, 63, and 67. 

* Vidt PUU 59 of the Hieroglyphics of * Diodor. i. 35. Aristot. Hist. An. ii. 7. 


remark, to its own expectations as to those of the astonished 
natives who witness its migration. I have also mentioned the 
mode of catching it, and the uses to which its hide was applied, 
both in ancient and modem times. 

Herodotus says, that though the hippopotamus is sacred in 
the Papremitic nome, they have not the same respect for it in 
the rest of Egypt ; and, according to Plutarch, ^ it was reckoned 
amongst the animals emblematic of the Evil Being. At Her* 
mopolis,* he adds, * is shown a statue of Typho, which is a river- 
horse with a hawk upon its back, fighting with a serpent; th^ 
river-horse signifying Typho, and the hawk that power an^ 
sovereignty which he frequently gets into his hands by violence^ 
and then employs in works of mischief, both to his own annoy- 
ance and to the prejudice of others. So, again, those sacred 
cakes offered in sacrifice upon the seventh day of the month 
Tybi, when they celebrate the return of Isis from PhoBnicia, have 
the impression of a river-horse bound stamped upon them.' 
From the representations of this animal in the sculptures, both 
in Upper and Lower Egypt, it is evident that the respect paid 
to it was far from being general in the country ; and figures of a 
Typhonian character in religious subjects on the monuments are 
frequently portrayed with the head of a hippopotamus. Even 
the Cerberus, or monster of Amenti, is sometimes represented 
under the form of this animal. I have nowhere found a male 
deity with the head of a hippopotamus, or accompanied by it as 
an emblem, in any of the sculptures of Egypt; and the only 
instances of a hippopotamus-headed god are in some figures of 
blue pottery, probably from the vicinity of Papremis, to which, 
as Herodotus observes, its worship was confined. 

According to Plutarch, the ^ river-horse * was the emblem of 
* impudence.' * This he endeavours to show by a hieroglyphic 
sentence in the porch of the temple of Sals, composed of an infaniy 
an old matif a hawk, a fsh, and a hippopotamus, which he thus 
interprets : ' Oh I you who are coming into the world, and who 
are going out of it (that is, young or old), God hateth impu- 
dence.'^ And, indeed, if the reason he gives' for its having been 
chosen as this symbol were true, or even believed by the Egyp- 
tians, we ought not to be surprised that he was considered to 
be sufSciently unamiable to be a Typhonian animal. Clemens 

> Plut. de Isid. s. 32. « Which is quite correct.— 5. B. 

' Conf. JEIian, Hi.n. An. rii. 19. 

Gbap. XIV.] 



snbstitutes the crocodile for the hippopotamus in this sentence, 
which he gives ^ from a temple of Diospolis ; and HorapoUo ^ 
assigns to the claws of the hippopotamus the signification of 
'injustice and ingratitude/ as to the whole animal the force 
of * time * or * an hour/ 

The injury done by this animal to the corn-fields^ might 

suffice to exclude it from the respect of the agricultural popula- 

'tion ; and the Egyptian peasants were probably called upon to 

:frighten it out of their fields on many occasions with brass sauce* 

jMins and. other utensils, in the same manner as the modem 

JBthiopians. But it probably never abounded in that part of the 

^ile south of the First Cataract ; ^ and its worship was confined 

-^o places beyond the reach of its intrusion. 

The hippopotamus was also said to have been a symbol of 
*^e western pole, or the region of darkness * — distinct, of course, 
-tjtom that primeval darkness which covered the deep, and from 
rhich sprang the light, supposed to have been typified by the 
lygale, the emblem of Buto. I have already explained the 
opinions of the Egyptians on this point ; and on the supposed 
analogy of the West, which buried the sun in darkness, and the 
gloomy mansions of the dead ; the former being termed Ement, 
^d the latter Amenti. I have also noticed the resemblance 
l>etween Erdb, or Oharb, the West, of the Hebrews, and the 
tiKimi of Greece. 

Hommies of the hippopotamus are said to have been found at 
^ebes, and a figure of one is preserved in the British Museum. 

The horror in which the pig was held in Egypt I have had 
occasion to mention.* According to Herodotus,^ the same aversion 
extended to the people of Cyrene, who abstained from the meat 
of swine, as well as ^ of the cow out of respect to Isis.' Hero- 
dotos' says it was unlawful for the Egyptians to sacrifice the pig 
to any gods but to the moon and Bacchus, which was only done 
^ the full moon — a sacred reason forbidding them to offer it on 

' Ckm. Strom, r. p. 159. [Which has 
tkt HSM mesning. — S. B.] 

' HonpoUo, i. 56, and iL 20. 

' JQkM, ▼. 53. 

* Tktre ia, however, reason to believe 
^ it descMided the Nile at the time of 
^ 4t]i Djiiast J as far as Memphis, where 
it •ppean in the hierogljrphs, and a female 
•f tilt time of Chephren U called Teb,t, < the 
^»lc Uppopotamns.' It is also called 
^9tbtAam, and represented the god* 

desses Thoneris and Apet, both connected 
with the waters. In the planisphere it is 
called rer^ the hog. (Lepsius, 'Einleit.,' 
p. 10.) It also designated that which was 
abominable. — S. B. 

* Enseb. Prcep. Evang. iii. 12. 

* It has been stated that the eating* of 
its flesh produced leprosj, and that the 
Jews who do not eat it never have cancer. 

' Herodot. iv. 186. • Ibid. ii. 47. 



[Chap. XIV. 

any other festival.^ It was on the former occasion alone that the 
people were permitted to eat its flesh — a wise sanitary regulation 
having made it unclean in the hot climate of Egypt. A similar 
prohibition was denounced against it by the Jewish legislator, 
and the Abyssinian Christians continue to think it a religious 
duty to abstain from this unwholesome food. From the aversion 
felt by the Egyptians to the pig, we can readily account for their 
choosing it as an emblem of uncleanness,^ and a fit abode for the 
souls of wicked men. The prejudices of other people have to the 
present day followed its name, even to a proverb, however wel- 
come its meat may be at table ;' and though we may not enter 
into all the horror of an Egyptian on seeing the great predilec- 
tion of a Oreek for the pig, we may ourselves feel surprised at 
Homer's respect for a feeder of pigs, who had the title * divine,' 
and* prince of men.'* 

In the fgte of Bacchus, the historian tells* us, they did not 
eat the pig which was sacrificed before their door, but gave it 
back to the person of whom it had been purchased. Plutarch,* 
however, says that * those who sacrifice a sow to Typho once a 
year at the full moon, afterwards eat its flesh ; giving as a reason 
for the ceremony, that Typho, being in pursuit of that animal 
at this season, accidentally found the chest wherein was deposited 
the body of Osiris.' But it does not appear whether he had in 
view the festival of Bacchus, Osiris, or that of the full moon 
previously mentioned by Herodotus ; and it is possible that both 
writers intended to confine the custom of eating swine's flesh to 
one single day in the year, ^lian, indeed, affirms, that they 
only sacrifice the sow (which they consider an animal most hateful 
to the sun and moon) 07ice a year, on the festival of the moon, 
but on no other occasion either to that or any other deity. 

Though the pig may not properly be classed among the 
sacred animals, it w£ts an emblem of the Evil Being ; and this 
may account for Plutarch's supposing it to have been connected 
with the history of Osiris and Typho.' Several instances occur 

* The celebration of this rite I shall 
mention in treating of the ceremonies. 

' Horapollo, ii. 37. ^lian, x. 16. 

* Cicero does not pay a compliment to 
pigs, when he says they have ' animam pro 
sale ne putrescant.' (De Nat. Deor. lib. ii.) 
ih^lian, on the authority of Agatharcides, 
gives the pigs of Ethiopia horns (v. 27). 

* Hom. Od. lA, 22 and 48; IE, 350, 
388, &c. 

* Herodot. ii. 4S. 

* Plut. de laid. s. 8. 

' The boar was called rer, probably 
from the onomatopoeia of its ^mnt. The 
BOW was called sau. Many small porcelain 
figures of sows, sometimes with their little 
pigs, are found of a later period, althoogli 
it is unknown in what sense. In thi 
legends of Horus, Set transformed himsell 
into a black boar, and attempted to dntroj 

Cbat. XIV.] 



of the pig in sacred subjects, principally in the tombs, where the 
•ttendance of monkeys might be supjxised to connect it with the 
■Mion* But these seem chiefly to refer to the future state of the 
wickeU, whose souls were thought to migrate into that unclean 
i&inial ; and the presence of Anubis confirms this opinion. 

Pigs were kept by the Egyptians, as I have already observed, 
to be employed for agricultural purposes ; and yElian/ on the 
tothority of Eudoxus, pretends that * they were s^mring in their 
ttcrifioes of swine, because they were required to tread in the 
pmin, pressing the seed with their feet from the surface into the 
•ail, and securing it from the ravages of birds.' 

It does not ap|)ear whether the wild boar was hunted by the 

chasseur — those {Mirts of Egypt where hunting scenes are repre- 

■ented not being frequented by that animal, wliose resorts were 

probably, as at present, confined to the banks of the Birket el 

Kijm* and the vicinity of Lake Menzaloh. 

As the Ilvrax did not hold a rank amon<2: the sacred animals, 
I need only refer to what has already been stated respecting it 
in enumerating the animals of Egypt. 

Notwithstanding the great utility of the horse,^ it did not 

^vijoy sacred honours,^ nor was it the ouiblem of any deity. 

l^kii is the more remarkable, as the breed of horses was con- 

n<Iered of the highest imi>ortance in Egypt; and even among 

^e Greeks, hws scrupulous regarding the sanctity of animals, it 

*^ dedicated to one of the principal gotls of tlieir Pantheon. 

P«»r though Neptune was unknown in Egypt, and the sea was 

^^dioQs to the Egyptians, the warlike horse might well have found 

*<^e deity of eminence to adopt it as a tyi^o ; and surely few 

Vuuld stand less in need of so |»ecuHarly a terrestrial animal 

than the god of the Ocean, and few be less consistently chosen 

•I the patron of the horse. 

at »Tt of Honi», pmbftblv th« niooo, aoJ 
ii«'nit »T«D]C*^t hiin««-lf hy inotitiitin^ th« 
Mrnbot i»!" th*» pig. (L^ft-Jmr**. • I.»"« \*'ux 
^H'lni*,* I'- ^ ^) Thf U».ir i" ii'j.i-t%tut.-| 
a t t'linb at Th^^x^ |ir(K*«wliD( in a ImmI, 
ia«ft«b »rm i»i> cvDuifph.ili. moii i* c'all«*ti 
Am^ vr * gluttf'uv * i^numitiiHl. CVry, 
lUnpilJo, IMi*.^ J.— S. li. 

' ISiaB. I I*i. 

' la thm Ktuuiii. fi-rmtrlr I^ke M>rri«. 

* Th% hoT*» or «t.lilli<D W.IH ia11«i1 Afir, 
tf tkat. itt«lM<l. d'-^* D"t iDrao the (Mir. *>T 
* fMtt ' of th» chariot, a* ih« two hiifM^n ooly 
km9 vm9 Baiiic. Th« iMin« of tht* frmaU 
«a» fet'-mutf th« la«t won! either 

expri-HHim; *ini>thf r,' lik** th* KnicHth * niar**/ 
ur thf piiirAl, anil U S'liutu-. Iifiiii; the 
«ain4* H« tlu* Hi-)in'W fujt-im. It ilt*e<« not 
H|i|>r;ir ill t-ii^ nioniMiifnt^ till th« time 
of the It^th iM'Daity, an«t after that wa% 
an im|KirtaDt an*! hi^hly-cHtfviii«>il aniuiiil. 
J*ri'»r to thf Sln-|ihfrt inva^inn th*- a** wa-* 
xitvd fur pur|tu<ke!« *.»( trauo}Nirt, but there io 
D'* rfl«prf«4'Dtatiiin ut it<k Iwin^; riiMva 
a'ttritle, althiiui^h prior t4i thi* rnvt-ntioD of 
ihariotft a kiuil t-f «<'at or pillion wii% 
uci actional Ir um-.1 on it« Uiil. — S. U. 

• Tr.u'i** ft w< r-'itip ;iri' >u|'|hi'.in| to be 
louo'l. — i«. U. 



[Chap. XIV. 

But an evident distinction was conferred on the less dignified 
ass ; and if, as some have though t, it is a greater disgrace to 
pass unobserved than to be noticed, even in an unfavourable or 
equivocal manner, the ass enjoyed the marked but uncompli- 
mentary honour of being sacred to Typho. This distinction 
entailed upon it another less enviable, though more positive 
mark of their notice, * the Coptites being in the habit of throw- 
ing an ass down a precipice, considering it unclean and impure, 
from its supposed resemblance to Typho.* ^ ^The inhabitants of 
Abydusy^ Busiris, and Lycopolis carried their detestation of this 
animal still farther ; so that they even scrupled to make use of 
trumpets, because their sound was thought to be like the braying 
of an ass.'* 

It was from * the idea entertained by the Egyptians of the 
stupidity and sensuality^ of its disposition, that they gave the 
Persian Prince Ochus the name of the Ass, in token of their 
execration of so detestable a tyrant.* Even the colour of this 
animal was thought to partake of the nature of the Evil Being ; 
and with a similar prejudice, whenever any individual happened 
to have a red complexion or red hair, they considered him con- 
nected with Typho. For this reason they offered red oxen in 
their sacrifices ; and in consequence of its supposed resemblance 
to Typho, * those cakes offered in sacrifices, during the two 
months Fauni and Pheiophi, had the impression of an ass bound 
stamped upon them ; and for the same reason, when they sacri- 
ficed to the sun, they strictly enjoined all who approached to 
worship the god, neither to wear any gold about them,* nor to 
give provender to an ass.' Another superstitious reason was also 
assigned by them, according to Plutarch, for their contempt of 
the ass : ' that Typho escaped out of battle upon that animal, 
after a flight of seven days, and after he had got into a place 
of safety begat two sons, Hierosolymus and Judaeus.'* But 
this, he adds, * is evidently told to give an air of fable to the 
Jewish history.' 

> Plut. de Isid. ». 30. 

• iElian (x. 28) says, Busiris, Abydus, 
and Lycopolis. 

' Most people will agree in the un- 
melodious voice of this animal; but the 
Pythagoreans had a curious idea, that ' it 
was not susceptible of harmony, being in- 
sensible to the sound of the lyre.* (iElian, 
X. 28.) 

* This quality of the ass was called in 
hieroglyphics oa, and is alluded to by 

Ezeiciel xxiii. 20.— S. B. 

* We cannot fail to be struck by such 
superstition; but an old Egyptian might 
smile at the scruples of many persons who 
object to commence a journey on a Friday, 
dine thirteen at table, or look upon a new 
moon without silver in their pocket. A 
modern Egyptian avoids visiting a friend 
suffering from ophthalmia with *■ any gold 
about him,' lest he should increase the 
malady. * Plut. de Isid. a. 31. 

Chap. XIV.] 



Some instances occur of an ass-headed deity.^ He is rarely 
met withy and is apparently of the order of daemons or an inferior 
class of gods connected with a future state in the region of 
AmentL The only place where I have seen the Onocephalus is 
at Tuoty' the ancient Tuphium; but the head of the ass is 
sometimes introduced among the hieroglyphics. 

The prejudice against the ass^ appears to have been universal 
in all ages. Egypt and the East, however, seem to have looked 
upon it rather as an emblem of perverseness than of stupidity ; 
and in this character it is still viewed by the Arabs/ as the 
bull is considered by them the symbol of stupidity, ^lian ^ 
pretends that 'Ochus, king of Persia, in order to afiUct the 
Egyptians, slew the Apis, and, consecrating an ass in its stead, 
commanded them to pay it divine honours ; ' and even if not 
looked upon with the same detestation at Memphis as at Lyco- 
imlis and Busiris, we may suppose, if iBlian's story be true, how 
folly the tyrant's intention was gratified by the substitution 
of this animal for their god. Neither the mummies of the 
pig, hyraz, horse, or ass, have been found in the tombs of 

Of the camel,* stag, giraffe, gazelle, and other antelopes, 
I have already treated. I have also remarked the singular fact 
of the camel not being represented in the hieroglyphics, either 
in domestic scenes or in subjects relating to religion. 

Though its flesh was forbidden to the Jews/ it is probable 
that religious scruples did not prevent the Egyptians from eating 
it; and the modem inhabitants, as well as the Arab tribes, 
flight in this light and wholesome food. But the wisdom of 
forbidding so valuable an animal is evident, from the great pro- 
hability of its being killed when about to die a natural death ;• 
ttd the Arabs are so scrupulous on this point, that few can be 
indaced to eat the meat of the camel, unless certain of its having 

* Honpollo (i. 23) supposes the Onoce- 
P^u to signify one who has never tra- 
TtUed oat of his own country. 

* Toot, or Selein^h, is in the Thebald, 
Mtriy opposite Hermonthis, or Erment, on 
^ cast bank. ' Jerem. zxii. 19. 

* 8m the introdnctory tale in the 
inlittt Mights. 

' iQian, HUt. An. z. 28. 

' Plin. Tiii. 18, of the camel and giraffe, 
^^nibo, zrii. 533. [The camel is men- 
^Mied hj its name katna!Uf in the texts 
^ MDe papyri. (Chabas, * Etudes,' p. 

400.) At the time of the Ptolemies it was 
introduced into Egypt, but not before, and 
is represented on coins of the Arabian 
nome under the Romans. — S. B.] 

' Levit. zi. 4. 

* [A wise precedent as regards the Jtorsi- 
fiesh of Europe! We might learn other 
hygienic lessons from the ancients : the 
Greeks, as Athenieus shows, forbade fish- 
mongers to lower the price of their fish as 
the day went on, lest the poor people 
should be induced by the fall of price to 
buy stale fish in the evening. — G. W.] 



been killed when in a healthy state. The giraffe frequently 
occurs, both in the paintings, as a rare animal brought from 
Ethiopia to Egypt, and as a hieroglyphic in monumental sculp- 
tures. But there is no appearance of its having been sacred, 
though an instance is mentioned of its having been found em- 
balmed. It is introduced as an emblem connected with the 
religion in the sculptures of Hermonthis, where it accompanies 
the figure of Death, some apes, and a jackal in adoration of the 
winged scarabaeus, the emblem of the sim. Pliny says it was 
called by the Ethiopians Nabin, or Nabis. 

Of the antelopes, the oryx was the only one chosen as an 
emblem, but it was not sacred; and the same city on whose 
monuments it was represented in sacred subjects, was in the 
habit of killing it for the table. 

The head of this animal formed the prow of the mysterious 
boat of Ptah-Socharis-Osiris, who was worshipped with peculiar 
honours at Memphis, and who held a conspicuous place among 
the contemplar gods of all the temples of Upper and Lower 
Egypt. This did not, however, prevent their sacrificing the 
oryx to the gods, or slaughtering it for their own use, large 
herds of them being kept by the wealthy Egyptians for this pur- 
pose ; and the sculptures of Memphis and its vicinity abound, no 
less than those of the Thebaid, with proofs of this fact. But a 
particular one may have been set apart and consecrated to the 
deity — being distinguished by certain marks which the priests 
fancied they could discern, as in the case of oxen exempted from 
sacrifice.^ And if the law permitted the oryx to be killed 
without the mark of the pontiff's seal (which was indispensable 
for oxen previous to their beings taken to the altar), the pri- 
vilege of exemption might be secured to a single animal, 
when kept apart within the inaccessible precincts of a temple. 
In the zodiacs the oryx was chosen to represent the sign 

Champollion considers it the representative of Set; and 
Horapollo^ gives it an unamiable character, as the emblem ot 
impurity. It was even thought * to foreknow the rising of the 
moon, and to be indignant at her presence.' Pliny is disposed 
to give it credit for better behaviour towards the Dog-star,' 
which, when rising, it looked upon with the appearance of adora- 

I Herodot. ii. 38. * Horapollo, i. 49. jElian, Hist. An. z. 28. 

* Plin. ii. 40. JEW&n, Hist. An. rii. 8. 




tion. But the natuialist was misinfonned respecting the growth 
of its hair/ in imitation of the bull Pacis. Such are the fables 
of old writers ; and, judging from the important post it held in 
the boat of Sochans, I am disposed to consider it the emblem of 
a good' rather than of an evil deity, contrary to the opinion 
of GhampoUion.' 

According to Herodotus/ the goat was sacred in the Men- 
dosian nome» where great honours were paid to it, particularly to 
the male.^ In that province, eyen the goatherds themselyes 
were respected, notwithstanding the general prejudice of the 
Egyptians against every denomination of pastor. The same 
consideration was not extended to these animals in every part of 
the country ; and some of the inhabitants of Upper Egypt sacri- 
ficed them : as the Mendesians offered to their god sheep, which 
were sacred in the Thebaid/ ^lian^ states that at Coptos the 
flhe-goat was sacred, and religiously revered, being a favourite 
animal of the goddess Isis, who was particularly worshipped 
there; but this feeling did not prevent their sacrificing the 
males of the same species. 

Herodotus also tells us that the goat was sacred to Pan, who 
was worshipped in the Mendesian nome. 

When a he-goat died, the whole Mendesian nome went into 
mourning ; and Strabo^ and Diodorus * also mention the venera- 
tion in which it was held, in some parts of Egypt, as the emblem 
of the generative principle. It is, therefore, singular that the 
horns of the goat were not given to Khem, who answered to that 
•ttribute of the Divine Power. Plutarch pretends that the Men- 
dMan goat was called Apis, like the sacred bull of Osiris ; but 
this is very questionable, as I have already observed. 

The ibex, or wild goat of the desert, occurs sometimes in 
>itronomical subjects,^® and is frequently represented among the 
i&unals slaughtered for the table and the altar, both in the 
Thebald and in Lower Egypt.^^ 

' PUo. Tiu. 53. 

' Boras is sometimes represented hold- 
^ t ftieUe in the hAod, supposed to 
(^lat his Tictory over Set; but a 
feianued gazelle, snowing that it was a 
■lerid animal, is in the collection of the 
British Museum, No. 6778a, Antilope 
Ihrm. It was called kahas.—^, B. 

* Tha lencoryx, often seen in the hiero- 
(lyphs, was called ma het, or 'white 
*Mt,'— S, B. 

* Herodot. ii. 46. 

* The goat appears to hare been called 
ba in the hieroglyphics, and was used to ex- 
press the idea * soul.' In Coptic it was 6a- 
em-pe^ * goat of heaven.' — S. B. 

• Herodot. ii. 42. 
' iElian, z. 23. 

• Strabo, xTii. p. 559. 

* Diodor. i. 84 and 88. 
»• iElian, xir. 16. ; 

11 On one tablet, in the Belmore Col- 
lection, it appears as an emblem, or sacred 
to the god Amen-ra. — S. B. 


The sheep was sacred in Upper Egypt, particiilarly in the 
vicinity of Thebes and Elephantine. The Lycopolites, however, 
sacrificed and ate this animal, * because the wolf did so, whom 
they revered as a god ;* ^ and the same was done by the people 
of the Mendesian nome ; though Strabo ' would seem to confine 
the sacrifice of sheep to the nome of Nitriotis. In the Thebaad 
it was considered not merely as an emblem, but ranked among 
the most sacred of all animals. It was dedicated to Chnoumis, 
one of the greatest deities of the Theb^d, who was represented 
with the head of a ram, for, as I have already observed, this was 
not given to Amen, as the Greeks and Bomans imagined ; and 
the inhabitants of thal^ district deemed it unlawful to eat its 
flesh,' or to sacrifice it on their altars. According to Herodotus, 
they sacrificed a ram once a year at Thebes, on the festival of 
Jupiter * — the only occasion on which it was permitted to kill 
this sacred animal ; and after having clad the statue of the god 
in the skin, the people made a solemn lamentation, striking 
themselves as they walked around the temple. They afterwards 
buried the body in a sacred coffin. 

The sacred boats or arks of Chnoumis were ornamented with 
the head of a ram ; and bronze figures of this animal were made 
by the Thebans to be worn as amulets, or kept as guardians of 
the house, to which they probably paid their adorations in pri- 
vate, invoking them as intercessors for the aid of the deity they 
represented. Their heads were often surmounted by the globe 
and urceus, like the statues of the deity himself. Strabo,* 
Clemens,® and many other writers, notice the sacred character of 
the sheep; and the two former state that it was looked upon 
with the same veneration in the Saite nome as in the neighbour- 
hood of Thebes. The four-horned sheep mentioned by jEliari,' 
which, he says, were kept in the temple of Jupiter, are still 
common in Egypt. 

Numerous mummies of sheep are found at Thebes ; and, as 
I have already observed, large flocks were kept there. For though 
it was neither required for sacrifice nor for the table, the wool 
was of the highest importance to them ; and much care seems 
to have been bestowed upon this useful animal, whose benefits to 

> Plut. de Isid. s. 72. * Herodot. ii. 42. 

* Strabo, xvii. p. 552. * Strabo, xvii. pp. 552, 559. 

• Plutarch seems to think all the priests • Clemens, Orat. Adhort. p. 17. 
abstained from it, as from swine's flesh ' .fClian, Hist. An. xi. 40. 

(ss. 5, 74). 

Chap. XIV.] THE OX AND THE COW. 305 

mankind Diodorns^ supposes to have been the cause of its hold- 
ing so high a post among the sacred animals of Egypt. 

The ram was chosen to represent the sign Aries in the zodiacs 
of Egypt ; but these partake too little of the mythology of the 
country to be of any authority respecting the characters of the 
animals they contain. Of the Kebsh, or wild sheep of the desert, 
I have already spoken in treating of the animals chased by the 

The ox and cow were both admitted among the sacred 

AtiiTOftlfl of Egypt All, however, were not equally sacred ; and 

it was lawful to sacrifice the former and to kill them for the 

table, provided they were free from certain marks, which the 

priests were careful to ascertain before they permitted them to be 

slaughtered. When this had been done, the priest marked the 

animal by tying a cord of the papyrus-stalk round its horns, 

fastened by a piece of clay, on which he impressed his seal. It 

was then pronounced clean, and taken to the altar. But no man, 

on pain of death, could sacrifice one that had not this mark.^ 

* All the dean oxen were thought to belong to Epaphus,' ' who 

was the same as the god Apis. Herodotus says that a single 

Uack hair rendered them unsuitable for this purpose; and 

Plutarch* affirms that red oxen were alone lawful for sacrifice. 

But the authority of the sculptures contradicts these assertions, 

tud shows that oxen with black and red spots were lawful both 

for the altar and the table in every part of Egypt This I shall 

haTe occasion to notice more fully in treating of the religious 

oeremonies. It will suffice for the present to observe that certain 

Dttrks were required to ascertain the sacred bulls, as the Apis, 

Muevis, and Facis ; and that the cow of Athor was recognised by 

peculiar signs known to the priests, and doubtless most minutely 

Ascribed in the sacred books. 

The origin of the worship of the bull was said to be its utility 
iu agriculture," of which Clemens considers* it the type, as well 
*t of the earth itself; and this was the supposed reason of the 
M being chosen as the emblem of Osiris, who was the abstract 
idea of all that was good or beneficial to man. 

Though oxen and calves were lawful food, and adapted for 
■Krifioe on the altars of all the gods, cows and heifers were for- 

* Diodor. L 87. * Plat, de Isid. s. 31. 

' Hcrodoi. iL 38. Vidt infrhy on the * Ibid. s. 74. Diodor. i. 88. 

■Mrifiets. * Clem. Strom, r. 

' IbkL U. 38, and iU. 27. 



bidden to be killed, being consecrated, according to Herodotus 
to Isis ; ^ or rather, as he afterwards shows, and as Strabo, i 
perfect accordance with the sculptures, states, to Athor. Th^^ 
was a wise regulation, in order to prevent too great a diniinutic^27 
in the cattle of the country ; and the prohibition being ascribfsic/ 
by the priests to some mysterious reason, was naturally looked 
upon in process of time as a divine ordinance, which it would be 
nothing less than sacrilege to disregard. According to Strabo,' 
many, both male and female, were kept in different towns, in 
and out of the Delta ; but they were not worshipped as deities, 
like the Apis and Mnevis, which had the rank of gods at 
Memphis and Heliopolis. Nor did they enjoy the same honouis 
that were paid to the sacred cow at Momemphis, where Venus 
was worshipped. 

Bull and cow mummies are frequently met with at Thebes 
and other places ; and though Herodotus states that the bodi^ 
of the former were thrown into the river, and the latter ^ 
removed to Atarbechis in the Isle of Prosdpitis, there is stii' 
ficient evidence of their having being buried in other parts ^^ 


The god Apis has been already mentioned. *Mnevis, tJ^ 
< - O sacred ox of Heliopolis,* was honoured by tl^® 
j) A ^gyp*^*^^ ^*^ * reverence next to the Apfe 
T ^ A whose sire some have pretended him to be. ^® 
668. Nameof Apto. ^00 was dedicated to Osiris, and represented ^^ 
a black colour, like the god himself, by whom his worship w^ 
instituted ;^ and though inferior to Apis, the respect shown hiP^ 
was universal throughout the country.' 

In the Coronation Ceremony at Thebes he appears to be in- 
troduced under the name of * the whiie bull,' which is specified 
by the same character used to denote silver, or, as the Egyptians 
called it in their monumental inscriptions, * whiie gold.' If this 
really represents the Mnevis, Plutarch and Porphyry are mis- 
taken in stating its colour to be black ; and from what the latter 
says of the hair growing the wrong way, it seems that he had in 
view the Pacis or black bull of Hermonthis. Ammianus Marcel- 
linus,* Porphyry, and ^lian suppose that Mnevis was sacred to 
the sun, as Apis to the moon ; Macrobius states that Mnevis, Apis, 

* Herodot. ii. 41. up in the form of the animal. — S. B. 

' Strabo, zvii. p. 552. * Plut. de Isid. s. 33. Diodor. L S4. 

* As at Thebes, parts of the bodies, in- * Diodor. i. 88. 

eluding the skull, were dried and wrapped * Ammian. Marcell. zzii. 14, p. 332. 

^^^1?. XIT.] SACKED BULLS. 307 

Md Pacifl were all oonfleciated to the sun ; and Platarch con- 
ftden MneYiB to be sacred to Osiris.^ Strabo merely says, in 
Ike Heliopolitan prefecture is the city of the sun, raised on a 
lofty moandy^ having a temple dedicated to that deity, and the 
boll Mnevis, which is kept in a certain enclosure, and looked 
■pon by the Ueliopolites as a god, like the Apis in Memphis. 
The bull of Ueliopolis appears to have been called, in the 
kieroglyphic legends, Mena.^ It had a globe and feathers on 
iti head ; but tliough found on the monuments of Upper Egypt, 
it is evident that it did not enjoy the same honours as Apis 
beyond the precincts of its own city. 

It was from this, and not the Apis, that the Israelites bor- 
rowed their notions of the golden calf; and the offerings, 
dsncingy and rejoicings practised on the occasion, were doubtless 
in imitation of a ceremony they had witnessed in honour of 
Mnevis during their sojourn in Egypt. 

^lian mentions a story of Bocchoris introducing a wild bull 
to euntend against Mnevis, which, having rushed at him without 
effect, and having fixed its horns into the trunk of a Persea, 
vu killed by the sacred animal. The king was said to have 
bciirred, by this profane action, the hatred of all his subjects. 
But the story is too improbable to be credited, though related 
to him by the Egyptians themselves. Basis or Pakis was the 
iMed bull worshipiied at Hermonthis. ^Ilian^ calls it Onuphis. 
'The Egyptians,' he says, 'worship a black bull, which they call 
Oiiaphis. The name of the place where it is kept may be learnt 
bom the bcx^ks of the Egyptians, but it is too harsh both to 
Mention and hoar.' ' Its hair turns the contrary way from that 
rf other animals, and it is the largest of all oxen.' 

Mmcrobius relates the same of the sacred bull of Hermonthis, 
kit gives it the name of Ilacchis. * In the city of Hermonthis,' 
he says, ' they adore the bull Bacchis,* which is consirrated to 
the siin, in the niugniticent temple of Apollo. It is rt*murkable 
ior certain extraordinary appearances, according with the nature 
of the sun. For every hour it is reported to change its C(»lour, 

' !■ • fmpyra* ineDtii'Drtl hj Prufrwor poMd to be the inrarDatitiD of the nun, Mtil 
Lrttrif 111., p. .'ii', iiirotiuD u niftdt wore the »olar duk oo it« hrail •uruiuiiDled 

€M»r-A|>i«, anil <Kiir-Morri«. bj |tlnineii nf two hawk'i feathrn on the 

* lu \uftj niounJ. Aii«l the ob4-li»k of ntiu of the llrliu)H>|itaB Dt>iiif at the 

rMiUMO I., »till mark the mte of iConiJUi perittJ. SuniftiiiiM it has ooir the 

Bcli0pulk». tolar disk and urarus. — i». U. 
* Tais u uac-rrtain : th^ word mm rather * .l-^lian. Nat. An. in. 11. 

mmtMB «-attie than an in-livhlual animal. * Sune MSS. read Uatis and Paci*. 

h *■• called in hicr< ^[Uj-hics L'r'mer, su|^ 

X 2 


and to have long hairs growing backwards, contrary to th^^ 
nature of all other animals ; whence it is thought to be an imag^^ 
of the sun shining on the opposite side of the world/ ^ 

Strabo^ mentions the sacred bull of Hermonthis, but withoc::^/ 
stating its name ; and the Onuphis, mentioned by .^Slian, a;^ 
pears rather to have been a title, signifying *tike opener v/ 
good/ or Ouonnofri, which properly belonged to Osiris.' If 
indeed, this name was really given to the bull Facis, we may 
conclude that, like Apis, it was sacred to, or an emblem o( 
Osiris ; as was Mnevis, according to Plutarch and Diodoms:^ 
and thus the three, instead of being emblems of the sun, as 
Macrobius supposes, were consecrated to Osiris. 

The other bulls and cows mentioned by Strabo^ did not hold 
the rank of gods, but were only sacred : and this distinction may 
be applied to other animals worshipped by the Egyptians. 

I have met with no representation of the buffalo; though* 
from its being now so common in the country and indigenous 
in Abyssinia, it was probably not unknown to the ancient 

The Indian or humped ox was common in former times, and 
is abundant in Upper Ethiopia, though no longer a native of 
Egypt. Like other cattle, it was used for sacrifice as for the 
table ; and large herds were kept in the farms of the wealthy 
Egyptians, by whom the meat, particularly the hump on the 
shoulder, was doubtless esteemed as a dainty. It is sometime 
represented decked with flowers and garlands on its way to the 
altar ; but there is no appearance of its having been emblematic 
of any deity, or of having held a post among the sacred animals 
of the country. 

The dolphin, a native of the sea, was not likely to command 
the respect of the terrestrial, or, if they adopted the same 
epithet as the modem Chinese, the celestial Egyptians. It is, 
indeed, difficult to account for its selection by the Greeks as the 
companion of Venus : for, however little we may object to its 
presence with her statue, under the guise of white marble and 
the classical name of dolphin, it recalls too strongly our ideas of 
the porpoise to appear to us a suitable attendant on the goddess 
of beauty. 

^ Macrob. Saturn, i. 26. « Diodor. i. 88. 

* Strabo, zrii. p. 361. ' Strabo, zrii. p. 552. He appliei his 

* The Omphis of Platarch (de bid. t. remark only to Apia and Mneria. 
42) ia eyidently thia name. 

Chu. XIV.] 


Fliny,' Beneca,* and Strabo' speak of the conteats of the 
dotphin and the crocodile ; in which the former, woonding the 
CRModile with the tpine of its 
dcnd fin in the abdomen, 
giined an easy victcoy over it, 
na in its own riTer. But 
iti aedit seems principally in- 
debted to &ble, its weapons, 
like its beauty, being imagi- 
ntj; and whatever may have 
beai the prestige in its favour 
tatag the classic writers of 
Onece and Bcmie, the Egyptians do not appear to have noticed 
it M> &r as to give it a place in their paintings or their alphabet. 

The moat distingniahed post 
moogst faboloos ftnimula mnst 
be conceded to the sphinx. 
It «is of three kinds, — the 
min^liinas, with the head of a 
■u and the body of a lion, 
dnotmg the nnion of intel- 
il and physical power ; the 
I, with the head of a 
na ttd the body of a lion; 
■d the hieraeoBj^inx, with the same body and the head 
<t a hawk. They were all types or representatives of the king, 
lb kat two were probably so 
%snd in token of respect to 
the two deities whose heads 
^ bene, Chnomnis and Ba ; 
Ibt other great deities. Amen, 
&em,Ptah, and Osirisihaving 
ham heads, and therefore 
■U emmected with the form 
rf the androsphinx.* The 
^aag «iB not only represented 
nder the mysterions figure of a sphinx, but also of a ram 

' Fill. Tiii. 36. droaphini irmballMd th> nnion of intcllcc- 

' Sa«n, Kit. QomL It. p- 886. tuil and ph7>>«I »trengtli ; »nd Clemeu 

' tMbo, iTlL p. MT. and Platarcb nj thcr *«'* pl««d bcfora 

' l^williim knaaliDg mm wen nib- UietcniplMutjpcioftluinifitcriaiuiutnra 

*l«id tar udriMphiBiM, u at Kknwk, of the Dcitj. (Strom. T. 5, p. 664, and 7, 

«<l Bffkd, aad atbar plaew. Tlu an- p. 671 ; and Plat, de Ind. ■. 9.) 



[Chap. XIV. 

and of a hawk; and this laat liad, moreoTer, the peculiar— ; 
signification of Phrah, or Pharaoh, the mm, personified by the^ 

monarch.' [Sometimea the paintings re 

presented an asp, or some other snab^^ 
(woodcut No. 572). Egyptian sphinze^H 
were not composed of a woman and 1=^= 
lion, like those of Greece; and if aMnn 
instance occurs of this, it was a mer ^ 
caprice, and probably a foreign innoT^a^ 
tioa, justified by its representing a qneei^n, 
the wife of King Honis of the ISt^l 
Dynasty; and they are sometimes seen Lxi 
the sculptures that portray the spoil taken from Asiatic nations- 
One sphinx has been found of the early time of the Qt-l 
Dynasty (in the posaesaion of 
Mr. Larking, of Alexandria.), 
having the name of King 
Merenra ; and another of tbe 
12th Dynasty (on a scarabeus 
of the LouTre); which at 
once decide the priority ot 
those of Egypt. Sometimfi* 
an androephbix, instead cf 
the lion's paws, has hnmsii 
hands, with a ^ise or censer 
between them. The winged sphinx is rare in Egypt, bat a fe* 
solitary instances of it occur on the monuments and on scaiaboi; 
as well as of the hawk-headed sphinx 
called se/er, which is winged (wood- 
cut No. 575). There are othM 
fanciinl creatures, one of which hu 
the spotted body of a leopard, with 
a winged human head on ita back 
resembling a modem cherub ; and another ia like a gazelle witii 
wings (woodcut No. 576). There is also the sqnare-eared quad- 
ruped, the emblem of Seth (woodcut No. 577). The Egyptian 
unicorn, even in the early time of the 12th Dynasty, was the 
rhinoceros ; and though less known then than afterwuds, it had 

< TliB^pUnx wu thtMubltm of th* god , 

Hmrauchlj, uid npnNnUd the king in Sphinxea wtn C4llsd Ba or Jjks-: 

that ch*TWt«r. Iti Mrliett appMnnca ii hi«niEln>l>'e thcf MpTMa&t«d tba idM wt 

at tha tlma of tha 4tb Djiuutr, tha graat or ' lonL'— S. B. 

CmAF. XIV.] 




Sfftr^ or liAwk-beailvd ^llhlllz. 
No. 675. 

ihe pointed nose and small tail of that animal, of which it is 
% rude representation. Over it is a&Uy a name applied also 
to* ivory/ and to any large beast. The winged Greek sphinxes, 
•0 common on vases, are partly Egyptian, partly rhcenician 
in their (character, the recnrved tips of the 
wings being evidently taken from those of 
Artarte.— G. W.] 

Sphinxes were frequently placcil be- 
foie the temples, on either side of the 
'romof, c»r approach to the onter gate. 
Sometimes lions, and even rams, were 
nbstituted for them, and formed the same 
kind of avenues, as at the great temple 
of Ktmak at The))es ; a small figure of 
tiw king hf'ing occasionally attache<l to them, or placed be- 
tween their {niws. When represented in the sculptures, a deity 
ii often seen presenting the sphinx with the sign of life, or other 
diriiie gifts usually vouchsafed by the gods 
to s king, as well as to the ram or hawk, 
*ken in the same ca|)acity, as an emblem 
^ s Pharaoh. Instances of this occur on 
*^eral of the obelisks and dedicatorv in- 

Pliny ' mentions sphinxes and other 
Umloos monsters, who were supposed to 
lire in Ethiopia; and the Egyptian sculi>- Na67f"** *^ *' 
tttct, as I have already shomn, are not behindhand in relating 
the marvellous pnxluf^tions of the valley of the Nile. Plutarch'' 
and Clemens' are satisfied with the enigmatical intention of 


tkete compound animals : the former saying 
that sphinxes were ' placecl before the temples 
as types of the enigmatical nature of their 
theology ;* the latter supposing them to 
■gnify that 'all things which treat of the 
Deity must b(> mysteri(»us and obscure.* 

The Egyptian sculptures also represent 
tam% with human heads, lions with the 
heads of snakes and hawks or with wings, ^'>-^^'^' 
vinged cr<»e<Mlil(>s with hawks' heads, and (»ther monsters, 

le of whi(*h (»ccur on monuments of the early |K*rio<l of the 

ska, an * int4rin vf ^«ib. 

* Plifi. Till. '1\ \ Strabo, ITU. p. &;i3. .tlliaD (lii. 7) ri>ii^ii!rn it f.iluluui. 
> riut. dc lud. ft. y. ■ CUn. Sln»m. r. p. i:»G. 


17th Dynasty. One of these, with the winged body of » qoad- 
luped and the head of a hawk, was called ax^ > ^^ '^^ named 
»dk united a bird, a quadmped, and a vegetable prodootion in 

its own person. It had the head of a hawk, the body of a lion, 
and a tail terminating in a full-blown lotn^; and, being a female, 
threatened to produce other monsters as homd as itself, with a 
facility unknown to ordinary hybrids. 

The targe vulture of Egypt was said to have beeq emblematic 
of Neith, or Minerva;* and the sculptoies show it to have been 
connected with more than one deity of the Egyptian Pantheon. 
It enters into the name of Mut, though it does not appear to be 
an emblem of that goddess, signifying only, as the wtnd m/ut or 
tmn implies, 'mother.' .^^lian' supposes that 'vultures were 
all females,' as if to account for their character as emblems of 
maternity. He even believes that a black vulture of Egypt was 
produced from the union of an eagle and a vultore ; and he 
reports other tales with equal gravity. 

Another deity to whom it was particularly sacred was the 
Egyptian Lucina;^ and as her emblem it seems to protect the 
kings, whom it is represented overshadowing with its wings, 
•whilst they offer to the gods in the temples, or wage war with 
an enemy in the field of battle.* Under this form the goddess 
is portrayed with outspread wings on the ceilings of the 
temples,' particularly in those parts where the monarch and 
the officiating priests were destined to pass on their way to 
celebrate the accustomed rites in honour of the gods. For this 
reason the vulture is introduced on the ceiling of the central 
avenues of the portico, and the under side of the lintels of^ 
the doors, which lead to the sanctuary. Sometimes in lien— 

• HompolbO. II) Mr..'of Miners*, or ' Ptobubly on ■cntiLt of Um suit •— 
of Juno, or huTen, ITranis, t /tar, ■ the vulture, tirm, being tha um* u tb^ 
mother,' fcc, ' lEIian, ii. 46. word umu, 'victory,' in (he hiwoeWpht. 

* [^:iiaa call! it the bitd of Jddd.— S. B. 

G. W.] ' [Conf. ^liMi, I. 22,— a. W.] 







of its body is placed a human eye with the same outspread 

The goddesses and queens frequently wear the vulture with 
outspread wings in lieu of a cap, the heads projecting from 
their foreheads, and the wings falling downwards on either 
side to their neck.^ Mummies of this vulture have been found 
embalmed at Thebes. The vulture Percnopterus was probably 
r^arded with great indulgence by the Egyptians ; but though 
frequently represented in the sculptures, there is no evidence 
of its having been worshipped, or even considered the peculiar 
emblem of any deity. 

Tradition, however, seems to record its having enjoyed a 
considerable degree of favour, in former times, by one of the 
names it now bears, *Pharaoh*s hen.' Even the Moslem in- 
luibitants of Egypt abstain from ill-treating it in consequence 
of its utility, together with the kites and other birds of prey, 
ui removing those impurities which might otherwise be pre- 
judicial in so hot a climate. It is generally known in Arabic 
^7 the name rdkham, which is the same it bore in Hebrew, 
^*i«m, translated in our version of Leviticus ffier-eoffle;^ where 
it is comprised among the fowls forbidden to be eaten by the 

Diodorus^ and Strabo* tell us that the eagle was worshipped 
^ Thebes. But it is evident that they ought to have substi- 
^iei the hawk, which the sculptures, as well as ancient authors, 
•fcnndantly prove to have been one of the most sacred of all the 
•^als of Egypt. Diodorus, indeed, shows the connection he 
■Apposes to have subsisted between the latter bird and that city, 
*hen he says,* * The hawk is reputed to have been worshipped, 
**cau8e augurs use them for divining future events in Egypt ; 
^i some say that in former times a book or papyrus, bound 
'^d with red or purple* thread, and containing a written 
•^nnt of the modes of worshipping and honouring the gods, 
^ brought by one of those birds to the priests at Thebes. For 
^hich reason the hierogrammats or sacred scribes wear a (red) 

fi J\^ indicat* that they were mothers. — 
^f) Conf. iElian, x. 22. 

Urit. xi. 18. » Diodor. i. 87. 

I Strabo, xvii. » Diodor. toe. cit. 

The words ^tpiiAs and purp%ureua are 
JUJ^Uted * purple/ bnt it is evident that 
JJjy originally signified firensolonr, or 
'4; tad the * pnrpnrens late qui splendeat 
*■•• tt alter assnitar pannns ' of Horace 

will translate very badly a *pnrple patch ;' 
though it is evident, from the * certantem 
et nvam purpnrse,' that the Latin as well 
as the Greek word signified also the colour 
we call purple. (Hor. An Poet. 18 ; and 
Epod. iL 20.) The pnrple continued to 
change in colour at di£ferent times till it 
arrived at the imperial hue, and that 
adopted by the modem cardinals. 



purple band and a hawk's feather in their head.^ The Thebans 
worship the eagle because it appears to be a royal animal wortliy 
of the Deity.* But though the eagle was not worshipped, it 
frequently occurs in the hieroglyphics, where it has the force of 
the letter a, the commencement of the word akhSm, its name 
in Coptic, 

Plutarch,' Clemens,^ and others, agree in considering the 
hawk the emblem of the Deity; and the sculptures clearly 
indicate the god to whom it was particularly sacred to be Ba, 
or the sun. 

Other deities also claimed it as their emblem; and it is 
shown by the monuments to have belonged to Ptah-Sochans- 
Osiris, to Aroeris, to the younger Horus, to Mento, to 
Khonsu, to Har-Hat, and to Qabhsenuf, one of the four 
genii of Amenti; all of whom are represented with a hawk's 
head. There is also a goddess who bears on her head a hawk 
seated upon a perch, supposed to be the deity of the west bank 
of the Nile. The same emblem is given to Athor; and the 
name of the Egyptian Venus is formed of a hawk in a cage or 
shrine. The boat or ark of Ptah-Socharis-Osiris is covered by 
the hawk, and several of those birds are represented rowing it, 
while others stand upon the pillars which support its canopy; 
and the hawk is frequently introduced overshadowing the king 
while offering to the gods or engaged in battle, in lieu of 
the vulture of Eileithyia, as an emblem of Har-Hat or Agatho- 

-^lian* says, *The hawk was sacred to Apollo, whom they 
call Horus.' The Tentyrites, he also states,^ have them in great 
honour, though hated by the Coptites; and it is probable that 
in some ceremonies performed in towns where the crocodile was 
particularly revered the presence of the hawk was not permitted, 
being the type of Horus, whose worship was hostile to that 
animal. But this did not prevent the hawk-headed Aroeris 
and the crocodile-headed Sebak from sharing the same temple 
at Ombos. 

The hawk was particularly known as the type of the sun, and 
worshipped at Heliopolis as the sacred bird and representative 

^ Clem. Strom, vi. p. 196. go to certain desert islands near Libja^ 

* Plut. de Isid. s. 32. recalls the modem Arab story of the Gebel 
' Clem. Strom, y. p. 159. e' Tayr or * mountain of the bird/ near 

* iElian, vii. 9, z. 14. He makes them Minieh. (iElian, ii. 43.) 
live 700 years. iElian's account of the * ^ian, z. 24. 

two hawks being deputed by the others to 

Ohap. XIV.] SACRED HAWKS. 315 

of the deity of the place. It was also peculiarly revered at the 
island of Philse, where this sacred bird was kept in a cage, and 
fed with a care worthy the representative of the deity of whom 
it was the emblem. 

It was said to be consecrated to Osiris, who was buried at 
FhilfiB; and in the sculptures of the temples there the hawk 
frequently occurs, sometimes seated amidst lotus-plants. But 
this refers to Horus, the son of Osiris, not to that god himself, 
as the hieroglyphics show whenever the name occurs over it. 

The hawk of Phike is the same kind as that sacred to Ba, 
and not, as some have imagined, a different species. It is 
therefore difficult to account for Strabo's assertion^ that the 
bird worshipped at Philse, though called a hawk, appeared to 
him unlike those he had been accustomed to see in his own 
country, or in Egypt, being much larger and of a different 
character. The only mode of accounting for his remark is to 
suppose he alludes to the hawk I have named Falco Aroeris, 
which is larger than the ordinary kinds of Europe and Egypt, 
and is seldom seen even in the valley of the Nile. 

At Hieraconpolis, or the City of the Hawks, which stood 
nearly opposite Eileithyia, on the west bank, and at Hieracon, 
opposite Lycopolis, this bird likewise received divine honours; 
lod the remains at the former, of the time of the first Usertesen, 
pR)Ye the antiquity of that place, and argue that the worship of 
the hawk was not introduced at a late period. 

The universal respect for the gods, of whom it was the type, 
i^dered the honours paid to the hawk common to all Egypt; 
^ though the places above mentioned treated it with greater 
diitmction than the rest of the country, no town was wanting in 
le^tect to it, and no individual was known to ill-treat this sacred 
wid. It was one of those * confessedly honoured and worshipped 
•y the whole nation,' ^ and * not only venerated while living, but 
^fter death, as were cats, ichneumons, and dogs ; ' ^ and if, says 
Herodotus,* * any one, even by accident, killed an ibis or a hawk, 
i^ettung could save him from death.' JElian,^ indeed, asserts 
that the Cioptites showed great hatred to hawks, as the enemy 
^ their favourite animal the crocodile, and even nailed them to 
Across; but this appears improbable, since the sun and other 
deities, of whom they were emblems, were worshipped at Coptos as 
throughout Egypt. 

> Stnbo, zrii. p. 563. < Plat, de Istd. s. 73. ' Diodor. L 83. 

« Herodot u. 65. • iEliao, Nat. An. z. 24. 



[GsAP. XIV. 

These sacred birds were maintaiiied at the public expense. 
Every possible care was taken of them, by certain persons 
especially entrusted with that honourable duty,^ who, calling 
them with a loud yoice, held out pieces of meat cut up into 
small pieces for the purpose, until they came to take them. 
And whenever, like the curators of the other sacred animals, 
they travelled through the country to collect charitable dona- 
tions for their maintenance, the universal veneration paid to the 
hawks was shown by the zeal with which all persons contributed. 
A hawk with a human head was the emblem of the human soul. 

No. 680. 

Sttcred hawk. 


the bateih of HorapoUo. The goddess Athor was sometimes 
figured under this form, with the globe and horns of her usual 
h^ad-dress. Hawks were also represented with the head of 
a ram. 

Several species of hawks are natives of Egypt, and it is 
difficult to decide which was really the sacred bird. But it 
appears that the same kind was chosen as the emblem of all the 
different gods above mentioned, the only one introduced into the 
sculptures besides the sacred hawk being the small sparrow- 
hawk,^ or Falco tenunctUoides, which occurs in certain myste- 
rious subjects connected with the dead, in the tombs of the 
kings. The sacred hawk had a peculiar mark under the eye, 
which, by their conventional mode of representing it, is much 
more strongly expressed in the sculptures than in nature ; and 
I have met with one species in Egypt which possesses this 

' Diodor. i. 83. 

' The origin of this inconsistent name 
may be a corruption of spervierOf ^pervier, 

* a hawk ;' or, as Johnson supposes, of 
Saxon spearhafoc. 





])ecnliarit7 in so remarkable a degree as to leave no doubt 
j^pecting the actual bird called sacred in the country. I 
Jiaye therefore ventured to give it the name of FaJco Aroerts. 
Numerous hawk-mummies have been found at Thebes and other 
places. And such was the care taken by the Egyptians to 
preserve this useful and sacred bird, that even those which 
^ed in foreign countries/ where their armies happened to be, 
^^irere embcdmed and brought to Egypt to be buried in conse- 
c^rated tombs.' 

The kite was also treated with consideration, because it 
c3estroyed rats and noxious reptiles, and, like the VuUur percno- 
J aided in freeing the country of impurities which might 
injurious to man. It does not, however, appear to have 
l3een worshipped as a sacred animal ; though it is probable that, 
like the sparrow-hawk and others, it was thought to belong 
-^4) Ba, the patron deity of all the falcon tribe, the various 
sxiembers of which were represented by, or included under the 
ame and form of, the sacred hawk. 

The homed and white owl are frequently represented in the 
ulptures ; but there is no evidence of their having been sacred, 
hich is the more remarkable, as this bird has been chosen in 
countries as the emblem of a deity, or connected with 
mysterious notion. Its constant occurrence on the monu- 
ents, where it stands for the letter m, and bears the sense of 
• in,' *with,' and *for,' together with the eagle, vulture, hawk, 
ohicken, and swallow, led to the name *bird writing,' ' which 
lias been applied to hieroglyphics by the modem Egyptians.^ 

There is no reason for supposing the owl to have been an 
emblem of the Egyptian Minerva, as some have imagined. 
And if it obtained any degree of respect for its utility in 

' Diodor. i. 84. 

* The hawk was called hak, the emblem 
^•11 the solar gods, Ra, Mentu, Amen, 
^^diaris, Horns, and eren Osiris. It also 
*>fv«Md sometimes the idea < god.' It 
^*pnMnted likewise the lunar god Khonsn. 
*> the future state the deceased turned 


^ 1 hawk, and a * gold hawk/ which last 
^ the author of time and also one of the 
IWioQic titles.— S. B. 

' The Greeks and Romans applied to 
^^ the name of ' animal writing. Hero- 
^01 speaks of 'the causeway of the 
PT^imids, with the figures of animals 
omd upon it ' (IL 124). Lucan sajs^- 

< Sax is tantum yolucresque fersque, 
Sculptaque servabant magicas animalia 

Ammianus Marcellinus, in describing the 
hieroglyphics on the sculptured walls of the 
Egyptian excavated monuments, observes, 
* Excisis parietibus yolucrum ferarumque 
genera multa sculpserunt, et animal ium 
species innumeras, quas hierogljphicas 
literas appellarunt ' (xxii. c 15, p. 339). 

* It is remarkable, however, that the 
owl, accompanied by the crook and the 
whip, occurs in certain silver coins sup- 
posed to have been struck by the Persians. 
— S. S. 



[Chap. XIV. 

destroying noxious animals, the return for those benefits was 
thought to be su£Sciently repaid by the care with which it was 
embakned after death. Several mummies of owls have been 
found in the Necropolis of Thebes. 

According to Horapollo,^ the sparrow * was used by the Egyp- 
tians to denote * a prolific man/ and, according to others, * the 
revolution of a year.* But neither the swallow, sparrow, raven, 
crow, nor upupa, received divine honours among the Egyptians ; 
and though the Moslems distinguish the raven by the name of 
* Noah's crow,' and often consider it wrong to kill it, no peculiar 
respect appears to have been paid it in ancient times. 

According to Horapollo,' the Egyptians represented Mars 
and Venus by two hawks, or by two crows ; and the latter were 
chosen as the emblems of marriage. The same author assigns 
to the representation of a dead crow the idea of a man who has 
lived a perfect life,^ and to young crows the signification of a 
man passing his life in movement and anxiety.' .£lian pretends 
that this bird was sacred to Apollo, two only which belonged to 
his temple being seen in the vicinity of Coptos.* The naturalist 
adds, that the Bomans employed at the emerald mines observed 
the same number there also — ^a remark which originated in the 
circumstance of ravens^ being almost the only birds seen in that 
tract ; and their habit being to live in pairs. They go a very 
short distance from their usual haimts ; but different valleys are 
visited by a different couple. 

iElian^ also states that the sepulchre of a raven was shown 
in the vicinity of Lake Myris (Moeris) ; and relates a story of 
King Marras, who, having employed a raven to carry his letters, 
buried it there at its death in token of his esteem for its fidelity. 
From what he mentions in another place,* it appears that the 
race of crows and ravens has wofuUy degenerated, though greatly 
to the advantage of the modem inhabitants. For those birds, 
as soon as they saw a boat passing on the river, in a supplicating 
manner approached, and petitioned for whatever they required : 
if given, they departed quietly ; but if refused, they settled on 

* Horapollo, Hierog. ii. 115. 

* [Probably a peculiar species, or a 
variety, as the sparrow of Tunis is, difiering 
slightly from that of Europe. — G. W.] 

' Horapollo, i. 8, 9, and ii. 40. 

* Ibid. ii. 89. What he says of its 
living thirteen years, and the Egyptian 
year being equal to four years, is obscure. 

* Horapollo, ii. 97. • iElian, vii. 18- 
' He calls them crows, but I believe 
that both Mlian, and Herodotus meao 
ravens; the Egyptian being the Royston 
crow, or Conma comix, I believe the 
latter to be sometimes represented in the 
Egyptian paintings, and even on papyri. 
< iElian, vi. 7. • Ibid. ii. 48. 

Cbap. XIV.] FOWLS-COOKS. 319 

the prowy and pulling to pieces the ropes, revenged themselves on 
the offenders. His well-known story of the Libyan crows dropping 
pebbles into jars until the water rose within reach of their bills 
is also on a par with the animal sagacity of those times. 

The swallow^ often occurs in hieroglyphics, where it some- 
times signifies ^ great ' and * valuable ;' but it does not occur as 
an emblem of any deity, and the only instance of its occurrence 
in religious subjects is on the boat of Atum. Isis was not wor- 
shipped under the form of a swallow, as some have supposed ; 
and if a group, of which this bird forms the principal feature, 
accompanies her name, it is only in the sense above mentioned, 
and applied to her in common with other deities. The swallow 
is found embalmed in the tombs of Thebes. 

Another bird, which is generally mistaken for the swallow, 
and has been conjectured by ChampoUion to represent a sparrow, 
is figured in the hieroglyphic legends as the type of an impure 
or wicked person. I believe it to be the wagtail, or Mota- 
cilla ; and it is worthy of remark that this bird is still called 
in Egypt *Aboo fussdd,' *the father of corruption,* as if in 
memorial of the hieroglyphical character assigned to it by the 
ancient Egyptians. 

It does not appear that the upupa was sacred, ^lian^ 
itates that the Egyptians respected this bird and the Yul- 
panser goose ^ for their love of their young, and the stork for 
its tenderness to its parents, but there is no reason to believe 
that any one of these was sacred. 

It is a remarkable fact that, though fowls aboimded in Egypt, 
they are never represented in the sculptures. Plutarch^ tells us 
they sacrificed white and saffiron-coloured cocks to Anubis, but 
^thout saying that they were the emblems of any god. Indeed, 
the Tudversal use of fowls as an article of food argues against 
the probability of their having been sacred ; nor are they found 
embalmed in the tombs. It is not, however, impossible on this 
>oooimt that they might have been emblems, as the goose, 
though so universally adopted as an article of food, was the 
symbol of the god Seb ; and, were it not for the absence of all 

* Gtllad AMU. The word for * great ' is called sa^ seb ia, seb apt, and khenen or 
V| the Latin htr-wido. — S. B. x^ li^« the Greek x^*"- See the list of 

* Aian, Nat. An. z. 16. these found in the tombs. (Rosellini, 
' The gooie was sacred to, and the liying * Mon. Ciy./ torn, i., p. 189.)--S. B. 

««blnnof Seb. (Prisse, *Rer. Arch./ 1845, * Plut. de Isid. s. 61. 
^ 729.) There were seTarml kinds of geese, 



proof of it in the sculptures, we might believe that the assertion 
of Proclus respecting the cock applies to the religion of Egypt 
That author says it held a rank among * solar animals^ because 
it appears to applaud the sun at its rising, and partakes like the 
lion of the solar influence : for though so inferior in size and 
strength, the cock is said to be feared by the lion, and almost 
revered by it, the virtue of the sun being more suited to the 
former than to the latter : and daemons with a lion's head, when 
the cock is presented to them, are known to vanish instantly.' 

This notion of the lion and cock being analogous emblems, 
and the latter possessing power to contend with his powerful 
competitor, probably led to the design engraved by a Boman 
artist on a stone I found in the Fyo6m, representing a lion and 
cock fighting, whilst a rat carries off the bone of contention. 
This, besides the obvious moral it conveys, shows that the two 
animals were chosen as the types of strength or courage. It 
also recalls the assertion of Pliny ,^ that ^ cocks are a terror to 
lions, the most generous of animals.' 

Pigeons are not generally represented in the sculptures; 
but an instance occurs of their introduction at the Coronation 
Ceremony, which is particularly interesting, as it shows the early 
custom of training carrier-pigeons, and adds one more confirma- 
tion of the truth of Solomon's remark, ^ there is no new thing 
under the sun.' The king is there represented as having as- 
sumed the pshent or double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt ; 
and a priest lets fly four pigeons, commanding them to announce 
to * the south, the north, the west, and the east, that Horns, the 
son of Isis and Osiris, has put on the splendid crowns of the 
Upper and Lower Country — that is, that the king Barneses III. 
has put on the two crowns.' 

The pigeon^ is also noticed as a favourite food of the 
Egyptians; and so pure and wholesome was it considered by 
them, that when the country was visited by epidemic diseases^ 
and all things were aflected by the pestilential state of tha 
atmosphere, they believed^ that those alone who contented, 
themselves with it were safe from the infection. Indeed, during 
that period, no other food was placed upon the tables of the 
kings and priests, whose duty it was to keep themselves pure 
for the service of the gods. There is, however, no appearance 

' Plin. lib. X. c 21. heaven/ are also applied to birds.— S. B. 

* It was called kctr-mirpe, ' the bird of ' Horapollo, Hierog. i. 57. 
heaven.' The word ari-^m-pef * keepers of 

Chap. XIV.] THE IBIS. 321 

of pigeons, or eyen doves,^ having been sacred ; and neither 
these nor the qnail are found embalmed. 

The quail is represented among the offerings to the gods in 
the tombsy and was eaten by the Egyptians, but it was not the 
emblem of any deity. Nor did the ostrich hold a place among 
the sacred animals of Egypt, though much esteemed for its 
plumes. This is the more singular, as the ostrich-feather was 
a symbol of the goddess of Truth or Justice. It belonged also 
to the head-dress of Shu ; it was adopted by Hermes Trisme- 
gistus, as well as some other deities; and it was worn by the 
soldiery and the priests on certain religious festivals. Ostrich 
eggs were highly prized by the Egyptians, and were part of the 
tribute paid to them by foreigners whose coimtries it inhabited ; 
and it is possible, as I have already observed, that they were 
considered, as at the present day, the emblems of some divine 
attribute, and suspended in their temples, as they still are in the 
churches of the Copts. 

The ibis was sacred to Thoth,' who was fabulously reported to 

have eluded the pursuit of Typho under the form of this bird. 

It was greatly revered in every part of Egypt ; and at Herm- 

opolis, the city of Thoth, it was worshipped with peculiar 

bonours, as the emblem of the deity of the place. It was on 

this account considered, as Clemens and ^lian^ tell us, typical 

of the moon, or the Hermes of Egypt. Its Egyptian name was 

Bah; from which ChampoUion supposes the town of Nibis to 

have been called, being a corruption of Jfo-n-Atp, or n-hip, * the 

place of the ibis.' This name was applied to the Ibeum, where 

it received the same honours as at the city of Thoth. 

Such was the veneration felt by the Egyptians for the ibis, 
^ to have killed one of them, even involuntarily, subjected 
4e offender to the pain of death ; * and * never,* says Cicero,* 
'^ such a thing heard of as an ibis killed by an Egyptian.' 
80 pure did they consider it, that * those priests who were most 
icmpolous in the performance of the sacred rites, fetched the 
^ter they used in their purifications from some place where the 
ibia had been seen to drink ; it being observed of that bird that 
tt neyer goes near any unwholesome and corrupted water.' • The 

' The dores represented on the monn- ' Clem. Strom. lib. y. p. 242. Ji)lian, 

*^ called men, appear to hare been Nat. An. ii. 38. 
'iH'^loTea.— S. B. * Herodot. ii. 65, and Diodor. i. 83. 

J PUtoin Pncdone. -filian, Nat. An. x. » Cic de Nat. Deor. lib. i. 29. 

^. HorapoUo, i. 10 and 36. * Plut. de Isid. s. 75. Mii&Uy vii. 45. 



particular respect paid to it was supposed to be owing to its 
destroying venomous reptiles, which, as Cicero says, its height, 
its hard legs, and long homy beak enable it to do with great 
ease and safety; thus averting pestilence from Egypt, when 
the winged serpents are brought by the westerly winds from 
the deserts of Libya.^ Pausanias,^ Cicero, and others,* think the 
existence of these serpents not impossible ; and Herodotus says 
he only saw their bones and wings. But we may readily pardon 
their credulity, when we find it asserted by a modem trayeller 
that they still exist in Egypt. 

The account of Herodotus is this : * * In Arabia (the eastern 
or Arabian side of the Nile), very near to the city of Bute, is a 
place to which I went to inquire about the winged serpents. On 
my arrival I saw a great quantity of bones and backbones of 
serpents scattered about, of all sizes, in a place where a narrow 
gorge between two hills opens upon an extensive plain contignoua 
to the valley of Egypt. These serpents are reported to fly from 
Arabia into Egypt about the beginning of spring, when the ibis? 
meeting them at the opening of this defile, prevents their passing) 
and destroys them : in gratitude for which service, the Arabs sa."3 
that the Egyptians have great veneration for the ibis ; and th^3 
themselves allow it is for this reason they honour that bird. 

* There are two kinds of ibis. The first is of the size of * 
erexy^ with very black plumage ; the legs like those of the craa ^» 
and the beak curved. This kind attacks the serpents. Tb^-® 
other ibises are more common, and often seen. They have H^ ^ 
head and all the neck without feathers ; their plumage is whit^^' 
except the head, neck, and extremity of the wings and tail, af^ 
which are quite black ; the legs and beak being the same as if^ 
the other species. The winged serpent is in figure like a water-^ 
snake ; its wings are without feathers, and exactly like those o^ 
a bat.' 

Among the many fanciful animals of the Egyptian sculptures, 
the winged serpents mentioned by Herodotus are nowhere 
found. Even among the many monsters in the mythological 
subjects of their tombs, none are represented, as he describes 
them, with the wings of bats, though some occur with the 
feathered wings of birds. Had the Egyptians themselves 
believed the existence of that kind of serpent, we may reasonably 

^ Cicero, de Nat. Deor. lib. L Herodotus ' iElian, Nat. Ad. ii. 38. Amm. Hftrc 
sajs they came from Arabia. zxii. 15, p. 338. * Herodoi. ii. 75. 

' Pausan. z. 21. * MaUui crex. 

Chap. XIV.] THE IBIS. 323 

suppose they would not have omitted it in the numerous scenes 
connected with the Evil Being, of whom this hateful monster 
urould have been an appropriate type. We may therefore 
<xmclude that Herodotus was, imposed upon by some deceitful or 
credulous Egyptian, who showed him the backbones of serpents 
mixed with the wings and bones of bats ; which last abound in 
great numbers in Egypt, and many have been found in the 
gorge near Buto.^ 

The common ibis mentioned by Herodotus correspojids with 

the Numenius Ibis, or Ibis rdiffiosa, of modem naturalists, as 

Cuvier has shown ; ' but this is not the ibis famed for its attack 

on the serpents, which was less common, and of a black colour. 

Those we find embalmed are the Numenius. They are white, 

with black pinions and tail : the body measures 12 inches, and 

4^ in diameter, and the beak about half a foot. The leg, from 

the knee to the plant of the foot, is about 4^ inches, and the 

foot the same length; the wing, from the pinion-joint to the 

extremity of the feathers, being nearly 10 inches. The Ardea 

Ibis of Hasselquist, which is a small heron with a straight beak, 

has no claim to the title of ibis of the ancients. The black 

and the common Egyptian ibis were related to the curlews, 

both having curved beaks. The Tantalus Ibis of Linnaeus is 

indefinite, from its comprehending, as Cuvier says, * four species 

of three different genera.*^ 

That the ibis was of great use in destroying locusts, serpents, 
scorpions, and other noxious creatures which infested the country, 
is readily credited. And its destruction of them^ led to the 
legpect it enjoyed; in the same manner as the stork ifas 
honoured in Thessaly,' where it was a capital offence to kill one 
of those birds.* Some have doubted the bill of the ibis having 
snfficient power to destroy serpents ; and therefore, questioning 
tile accuracy of Herodotus's description of the birds which 
attacked them in the desert near Bute, have suggested that they 
^^ of the Ardea kind. But it is evident that the bill of the 
ibis is sufficiently strong for attacking serpents^ of ordinary size. 

^ fnm his oerer mentioning locusts, * Jameson's Cnvier's ^ Theorj of the 

^ might inppose he had made this Earth/ p. 300, et aeq. ' Ihid. p. 329. 

">>teke on sedng the hones and wings of * Pint, de Isid. s. 75. * Ibid. s. 74. 

^W insecta ; bnt the form of the snakes, * Plin. x. 23. 

kbit's wings, and what he afterwards ' Some birds, as the secretary and others, 

**!• of their liTing in Arabia, prevent attaclc snakes by striking them with the 

^i* eonclnsioD. (Herodot. ii. 75, and iii. edge of their pinions, and, having stunned 

1^, 109.) them, then use their beaks. 

Y 2 


and well suited for the purpose. With regard to the statemo^ 
of Herodotus, nothing concluslYe can be derived from it ; 2i^ 
whole testimony, as Cuvier observes, only proving that he saw a 
heap of bones, without having ascertained, beyond report, how 
they were brought to the spot. 

Bronze figures of the ibis represent it attacking snakes; 
which, if not of ancient Egyptian, but of Boman time, suffice 
to show the general belief respecting it; and Cuvier actoallf 
found the skin and scales of a snake, partly digested, in the 
intestines of one of these mummied birds. The food of the 
common ibis also consisted of beetles and other insects ; and in 
the body of one were several Coleoptera, two of which have been 
ascertained by Mr. Hope to be Pimdia pUasa^ and Akit np» 
of Fabricius, common in Egypt at the present day. Insects, 
snakes, and other reptiles appear to have been the food of both 
kinds of ibis. 

Plutarch and Cicero pretend that the use it made of its bill 
taught mankind an important secret in medical treatment.* 
The form of the ibis, when crouched in a sitting position, with 
its head under its feathers, or when in a mummied state, wa^ 
supposed to resemble the human heart : ' * the space between \^ 
legs, when parted asunder as it walks, was observed to make 9^ 
equilateral triangle,'* and numerous equally fanciful peculiflu^ 
ities were discovered in this revered emblem pf Thoth. 

Pettigrew says,' * The heart was looked upon by the Egyg^ 
tians as the seat of the intellect ; and in this way it has bee ^ 
attempted to explain the attribute of the ibis, which was no les^ 
than to preside over and inspire all sacred and mystical learning 
of the Egyptian hierarchy.' HorapoUo describes the Egyptiat^ 
Hermes as ' the president of the heart, or a personification of th^ 
wisdom supposed to dwell in the inward parts.' Elian's story of 
the length of its intestines, ascertained by those who presided 
over the embalming of this bird to be 96 cubits long,* and its 
obstinate refusal to eat any food when taken out of Egypt, are 
among the number of idle tales respecting the ibis.^ 

I have stated that it was particularly sacred to Thoth, the 

^ M. Latreille's genus Trachjderma — 60 * * History of Egyptian Mammies,' p. 

named from their thick elytra. 205. 

* The bill is not a tube. (Pint, de Isid. * Larcher says they were ascertained a1 

s. 75. Cicero, de Nat. Deor. lib. ii. iElian, the Acad^mie des Sciences to be 4 ft. 8 in 

Nat. An. ii. 35, &c.) French. (Herod. Larch, p. 231. iEUan, x 

» Horapollo, i. 10, 36. iElian, x. 29. 29.) 

< Plat, de Isid. s. 75. The expression ' Larcher has also freed it from the im^ 

and the beak ' is very miintelligible. putation of a/eA> de te. 

Chap. XIV.] THE IBIS. 825 

moon, or the Egyptian Hermesy and that Hermopolis was the 
city in which it received the greatest honours. As an emblem 
of Thoth it was represented standing on a perch ; and the god 
himself was almost invariably figured with the head of this bird. 
There was another Hermopolis, distinguished by the adjunct 
Parva, where it was also revered as an emblem of the same god ; 
and the town of Ibeum, situated, according to the Itinerary of 
Antoninus, 24 miles to the north of Hermopolis, was noted for 
the worship of the ibis. But all Egypt acknowledged its sacred 
character ; and there is no animal of which so many mummies 
have been found, particularly at Thebes, Memphis, and Hermo- 
polis Magna. In the former they are enveloped in linen 
bandages, and are often perfectly preserved ; at Memphis they 
are deposited in earthenware vases of conical shape, but nearly 
always decomposed ; and at the city of Hermes, in wooden or 
stone cases of an oblong form. Some have been found mummied 
in the human form ; one of which, in the collection of Passa- 
Licqua, is made to represent the god Thoth.^ 

Both kinds of ibis mentioned by Herodotus were doubtless 
nered to the Egyptian Hermes. 

The ibis is rarely found in Egypt at the present day, though 
laid sometimes to frequent the Lake Menzaleh, and occasionally 
to be seen in other parts of the country. Cuvier and others have 
made considerable researches respecting it ; and that celebrated 
itttnralist brings forward a curious proof of its having been 
domesticated, from the discovery of a mummied ibis, whose * left 
htunems had been broken and joined again.' For, he observed, 
*it is probable that a wild bird whose wing had been broken 
vodd have perished before it had healed, from being unable to 
ponue its prey or escape from its enemies.' ' It is probable 
tlukt many of the heron or crane tribe were looked upon with 
Inspect by the Egyptians, though they did not receive the same 
Wours given to the ibis ; and some were chosen as emblems of 
other gods, distinct from every connection with Thoth. Some 
vere killed for the table and the altar; and the Egyptian 
chasseur is frequently represented felling them with the throw- 
itick ' in the thickets of the marshes.^ 
Several occur in the hieroglyphics, and in the paintings: 

* Pcttigrew, plate 13, fig. 6. of coming back to the thrower, did not 

' CaTier^f * Theory of the Earth,' p. 307. belong to the Egyptian throw-itick, which 

' Thi« caUt to mind the boomerang of New was also more straight. 

BtOa&d; bot the pecoliaritj of this last, * Woodcut No. 366. 



among which we may distinguish the Ardea cinerea or heron,^ '^le 
Platalea or spoonbill, the stork, charadrius, and others.' Craxies 
and other wading birds are found in the winter in Upper Egyj^ 
but far more in Ethiopia, and in spring immense flights of storis 
(Giconia alba) collect together, which, after soaring round in cir- 
cles at a great height, return for the summer to the north. From 
the migration of cranes to Ethiopia arose the fable of the Crtniea 
and Pygmies. The Ardea cinerea and garzetta^ the Platalea or 
spoonbill, the pelican, and some others remain the whole je&r 
in Egypt. The Grua cinerea, a crane, winters in Ethiopia about 
Gebel Berkel. This last has been strangely mistaken for an 
ostrich at Beni-Hassan, and is probably the Grus undeter- 
mined by Pickering.' The ibis is rarely seen except near the 
Lake Menzaleh, where ducks, coots, and numerous water-fowl 
aboimd. The avocet was a native of Egypt as early as the r2tkv 
Dynasty. The Numidian demoiselle, Anthropoidea VirgOy i^^ 
found, but not common, in Upper Egypt. Kites remain all th^^ 
winter, and swallows also, though in small numbers, even a^^ 

That which held the next rank to the ibis was the tufted 
Bennu,^ one of the emblems of Osiris, who was sometimes figured 
with the head of this bird. It was distinguished by a tuft of 
two long feathers falling from the back of its head; and this 
peculiarity seems to point out the small white ahoofferdan, which 
I have often seen with two similar plumes. Its pure white* 
colour, its custom of following the plough, and living in the cul- 
tivated fields, from which the French have given it the name of 
ffardebceufy as well as its utility in eating the worms and insects 
in newly-tilled lands, argue in favour of this conjecture, and 
suggest it to be an appropriate emblem of the beneficent Osiris. 
It is the Ardea bubvleus of Savigny. 

More than one Charadrius was a native of Egypt. The 
Charadrius oedienemtfs, the modem Karawan, the Cristatus or 
crested plover, and the Armatus or spur-winged plover, were very 
common. But the most remarkable, from the tale attached to it, 
was the Trochilus.^ Sicard is right in saying that it is called 

* Vol. ii. woodcut No. 369, fig. 15. * I belieye, howerer, that th* Bcnan U 

* Vol. ii. p. 114, and woodcuts Noi. represented of a bluish grej or slate oolonr. 
d68f 369 ; also Plate LIX. ' iElian, xii. 15, says there were *ieyerml 

* Page 169. species of Trochilus (U, CharadrivsX with 

* [I haye, howeyer, found a swallow at hard names/ to whicn he teems always to 
Thebes which had died of cold. — 6. W.] hare a great objection. 

» Woodcut No. 578. 


8ii$ak by the Arabs, though this name is also applied to the 
Bptii>winged and crested plovers. The benefit it confers on the 
docodile, by apprising it of the approach of danger with its shrill 
riHce,' doubtless led to the iable of the friendly offices it was said 
to perform for that animal, as I hare already observed. 

ArnmianiiH Marcelliuus Calls the Trochilua a small^ bird, 
which does not disagree with the dimensions of the Siksak, being 
only 9} inches long. It is of a slate colour, the abdomen and 
neck being white. The head is black, with two white stripes 
nnmiog from the bill and meeting at the nape of the neck, 
and a black mantle extends over the shoulders to the tail. The 

XiML Tilt TrocUtoa, or aiaradriiM wlaiHcvhilW.Lliin. 

feet are blue, and the beak black. The wings are also black, 
with a broad transveTse white band. It is the Ckaradrim 
*»ta«oeephal%a of Linnieus.' 

The Egyptian goose was an emblem of the god Seb,* the 
ntker of Osiris. It is not, however, among the sacied animals 
(tf Egypt which were forbidden to be eaten ; as is evident from 
there having been a greater consumption of geese than of any 

' £li>n, *iU. 25. growl in turn : 1 live, it li<rei id tuni ; 1 

*(h 'ihort,' brtnit: Ammiui. Uarccll. breathe, it bruthei in turn.' Thu Dr. 

I>IL pk 336. Birch tboira to be lued on cqSiu of tha 

' Lbunii hu taken the Trochiitu u a perii>d abant the 12th D^noaty. (S«e Glid- 

pMric nam* for tha huminiiig bird, par- doa's ' Otia Egjpt.' p. 83.) On the Orphic 

'■nlwif for tbou wilbcurvsd bilU. Coamogonj aad the conaection between the 

• [Ai (A emblem of Seb It wu coonected egg and Chroaiu (Saturn, the Seb of llgypt), 

^_ with the great muo- see Damaecim id Cory'» ' Fragmente,' 

^y daiie egg, in which p.313. Ariitophuie>(Uirdi, TOO) tnention* 

M form the chaotic mau the eg| produced by 'black-winged KigbU' 

^^^^ ot the world wat pro- (Cory, p. 293, nod eee Orphic Hymn to 

^H^^^ duod. Part of the Protogonus, p. 294.) As Seb and Nat 

yi aeth chapter of the answered to Saturn and Rhea, their chll- 

foneral Ritual tranii- dran Osiri" and lais, being brother and 

•^f*- lated by Dr. Uincki liiter, answered U> Jupiter and Jnuo, 

(MMIbb thii dofma, alluded to in the though they did not really tiear any other 

Oiphic CoamogoDT : * 1 am the Egg of the raemblance to them. Seb and Nut were 

Orat CKklar. I have protected the Great the earth and the heaven above.— 0. W.] 

£|t l>id by Stb io the world : 1 grow, it 


other bird, even in those places where the god Seb was parti- 
cularly adored. And if Herodotus^ says *it was sacred/ he 
probably refers to its having been the emblem of the husband 
of Nut, the Egyptian Saturn. It signified in hieroglyphics *a 
child ;'^ and HorapoUo says, ' It was chosen to denote a son, from 
its love to its young, being always ready to give itself up to the 
chasseur in order that they might be preserved : for which reason 
the Egyptians thought it right to revere this animal.' 

The goose was very common in every part of Egypt, as at 
the present day ; but few mummies have been found of it, which 
is the more readily accounted for from its utility as an article of 
food, and as an offering for the altar. 

Among the minor deities or genii of the tombs a duck-headed 
god is sometimes represented ; but this bird does not appear to 
have held a rank among the sacred animals of Egypt 

HorapoUo says, * The pelican was the type of a fool ; ' ' and 
relates a ridiculous story of the reason for this unenviable dis- 
tinction. But he adds, ^ Since it is remarkable for the defence 
of its young, the priests consider it unlawful to eat it, though the 
rest of the Egyptians do so, alleging that it does not defend 
them with discretion like the goose, but with folly.' This reason, 
however, at once impugns the truth of a statement which leads 
us to infer that they abstained from eating geese, since we know 
they were served at the tables of the priests themselves, and 
constituted one of the principal articles of food throughout the 
country. The pelican is sometimes eaten by the modem Egyp- 
tians ; but it is very coarse and strong, and requires much 
cooking to overcome the greasy properties of its flesh, and we 
cannot be surprised at the ordinance which forbade it to the 
Israelites.* Its Hebrew name is Kath ; and it is now com- 
monly known in Egypt as the GemmcU el lahvy or ' camel of the 


Among fabulous birds, the Phoenix ^ holds the first place ; but 
this I have already mentioned, as well as the Baieth, and the 
vulture with a snake's head. 

Hawks were often represented with the heads of rams and 

» Herodot. ii. 72. riii. 12). 

* HorapoUo, i. 53. It answered to the * [This bird I formerly supposed to b€ 
letter s, of s<?, * a child.* the one represented on the moDumenti 

• HorapoUo, Hierog. i. 54. with human hands, and often with a man\« 

♦ Levit. xi. 18. Deut. xiv. 17. Pliny head and legs, in an attitude of prayer; 
also tells a strange tale about the pelican, but it appears to be the *pure soul of th< 
which he calls Platea (x. 40 ; and Aristot. king.^G. W.") 


A tortoifM^-headcd p:od^ occurs as one of the genii in the 
tombs; but it does not api^car that the tortoise held a rank 
tnion<r the sacred animals of Egypt. 

The crocodile, as has been already sho^-n, was peculiarly 
sacrr-il to the go<l »Sebjik. Its worship did not extend to every 
part tif Ejrypt : some places considering it the representative of 
the Evil Ik'ing, and Ix^aring the most dea<lly animosity to it, 
which le<l to siTious feuds between neighbouring towns. Such 
was th»» cause nf the quarrel of the Onibites and Tentyrites de- 
icriU-iI ))y Juvenal :' and the same animal wlii<*h was worshipjMMl 
At OniUiS ' was kille<l and eaten by the inhabitants of Ap<dlin- 
opiiliM. Inde<Ml, on a {»articular day, they harl a solemn chase 
of the croc(>dih%^ when they put to death as many as they could, 
and afti^rwanls threw their bcnlies before the temple of tlieir g^nl ; 
assigning this reason, that it was in the shape of a crocodile that 
Typhii elurled the pursuit of Horus.* 

It enjoyed great honours at Coptos, OmlMts,^ and Athril>is or 
Croc4Nlilo{Ndis in the Tlielmid. In Lower Egypt it was {mrticu- 
larly sacn^I at a phice also called the City of Crocodiles, and 
aftfTwanIs Arsinot's in honour of the wife an<l sister of Ptolemy 
Philailfdphus, whi<*h was the capital of a n<»me, now the pn>vince 
of Fyouni. Th(.' animals were there kept in the I>ake ^[teris, 
and w»*re buri«*d, according to Hen»dotus,* in the undergnmnd 
dianiliers of the famous Labvrinth. There was another CnKMH 
dilopolis in the ThelMii'd, placeil by Stnilto on the west Ixink, 
next in onlerto, and on the south of, Hermonthis; \ihirh I suit- 
pose to ha VI* MtfMMl at the (lelielayn, whrn* th«' vestig«*s of a town 
appear on the hill ni^arest the river. Judging from the numerous 
]nnmmi(*s of cnK*<Nlih'S in thf extensive cavf*s of Maalwlrh, op|N>- 
iite 3[anfa1o«>t, another town jmrticularly drvotinl to their worship 
also stfNMl in that n<*ighlN)urho«Ml. 

From the acrount of /Elian* it aj>j)4nirs that, in places where 
they w<*re worshipiNMl, their numlNTs increnstnl to su(*h an extent 
'that it was not safe for anvone to wiLsh his fcrt or dniw water 
it thf riviT ; and no ono could walk near the <H]ge of th«* stn*am 
either in the vii'inity of OmlxM, ("optos, or Arsinot*, without 
extreme caution.' 

X«*ar one of the «»ities called CnKVMlilojMilis was the place of 
interment of the first Asfdt*pius, tht« n'puted inventor of nietli- 

■ Jur. Sat. iviii. :M. * Hof^U. li. UM. 

* Plot, de liiJ. ■. 60. Stralio, irii. p. * .Kluiu i. '-'4. 


cine; to whom a temple was said to have been dedicated on 
the Libyan hills in the vicinity.^ That city was probably 
Athribis, noted for the peculiar honours paid to its presiding 
deity Thriphis, the contemplar companion of Khem. 

Strabo ^ speaks of the great respect shown to the crocodile 
in 'the nome of Arsinoe, or, as it was formerly called, Croco- 
dilopolis. He states that one was sacred there, and kept apart 
in a particular lake, which was so tame that it allowed itself to 
be touched by the priests. They called it Souchos, or Suchus. 
It was fed with bread, meat, and wine, which were brought by 
those strangers who went to see it. Strabo's host, a man of con- 
sideration, when showing the geographer and his party the 
sacred curiosities of the place, conducted them to the brink 
of the lake, having taken with him from table a cake, some 
roast meat, and a cup of wine. The animal was lying on 
the bank; and while some of the priests opened its mouth, 
one put in the cake, and then the meat, after which the wine 
was poured into it. The crocodile, upon this, taking to the 
water, passed oyer to the other side; and another stranger, 
haying come for the same purpose, made similar offerings to 
it as it lay there. 

The Suchus of Strabo appears to agree with, and to be taken 
from, the name of the god Sebak ; and it was probably applied 
exclusively to those which were sacred. Herodotus says the 
Egyptians called crocodiles Champses; a corruption of the 
Coptic or Egyptian name 7nsahy or emsoohy from which the 
Arabs have derived their modem appellation iemsah. The croeo- 
deUos^ of the Greeks was merely the Ionian term for all lizards, 
as our alligator is the Portuguese o lagarto, * the lizard.' 

Herodotus agrees with Strabo in saying they were rendered 
so tame as to allow themselves to be touched with the hand; 
their ears were decked with earrings,* and their fore-feet with 
bracelets ; and as long as they lived they were fed with the flesh 
of victims, and other food ordained by law. 

Thebes did not refuse divine honours to the crocodile, as the 
emblem of Sebak, who was admitted among the contemplar 
deities of that city; and we learn from the sculptures that many 
other towns acknowledged it as a sacred animal. 

* Mercur. Trismegistus' dialogue with not think themselves bound by any religious 
Asclepius. ' Strabo, xvii. p. 558. feeling to bore their ears ; if so, the office 

* KpoK69€i\os. of curator of the crocodiles must have 
^ Herodot. ii. 69. We may hope they did been no sinecure. 


Herodotus mentions the respect paid to tliem at Thebes and 
the Lake Moeris ; and observes that ' some of the Egyptians con- 
nder them sacred, while others do all they can to destroy them : 
among which last are the people of Elephantine and its vicinity, 
who have no scruple in eating their flesh.' Diodorus^ makes 
the same remark of their having been \vorshii)i>ed by some only 
of the Egyptians. 

* 3Iany,' says the historian, ' nutumlly ask h(»w an animal 
which devours men can have been considered worthy of the 
respect shown to the gods. They answer, that not only the Nile, 
bat the cn>codiles are a defence to the country. For the robbers 
of Arabia and Africa, who would pillage the lands, <lare not swim 
icruss the river from the number of these aniniuU; and one 
gttat impediment would be removed if they wurc hunted and 
destroyed. An historical tale relates that ^lenas,'' one of their 
Ancient kings, being driven by his own dogs into the Ijiike Mwris, 
^wai miraculously taken up by a croco<lile, and curried to the 
other shore : in commemoration of which bi*neAt the king built 
•be "City of the Crocodiles" in that district, ordering divine 
liuaours to be \md to them, and assigning the lake for their 
aiaintenance. Near it he built a tomb for himself, with a four- 
«ded pyramid and a labyrinth, which are the admiration of all 
*iu> behold them.' 

The crocoilile was supposed by some to Ix* an emblem of the 
its number sixty being thought to agree with that lumi- 
;' and Clemens tells us^ the sun wus sometimes {ilaced in a 
boiat, at others on a crocodile.^ 

On the subject of the crocodile M. Pauw* makes a very judi- 
cious remark, 'that on his examining the t(i]M)grai)hy of Egypt, 
to observi^d Coptos, ArsintM*, and CnM-iHlil<)|M)lis, Athribis, the 
Vvwns most remarkable for the a<loration of ertRHMliles, to be all 
Btnated on canals at siune distance from the Nile. Thus, by the 
kail negligence in allowing the ditches to be tilled up, those 
inimals, from l>eing inca{Mible of going far i»n dry land, could 
Kver have arrived at tlit» very places where tiiey vere eonsiden^l 
Mthe symliols of pure wat^T. For, as we learn from ^Elian, and 

* iHmlnr. i. 35. "f n man** h-ly on .1 « r»Ki-lili-*» Uck, wilh 

* from what fulKiw*. of hi« tomb ao-l othvr niiliitiir*-* pitrmij; to the »un, 
Ihf UbrnDth. he evident Ir uiran* Mirri«. mifn. mn>l «t;ir«. Ttii y .ire iif late ttme. 

■ Uublich. de Mv.t. Met. 0, c. S. I'.ir- * I'mw, * K«-' h'^r. »». - l*nil.u».' toJ. ii. part 

f«rr Oe Abetm. :i, Mfcl. 7. j.. IJ.'. 'lhl^ h;u b«vn quote^l 

* Clemea*, Strom, lib. r. bj r«tti^u«. 

* TWrt is a cuhuus •ubjei:t at PhiU 


more particularly from a passage in Eusebius/ the crocodile 
signified water fit for drinking and irrigating the lands. As 
long as their worship was in vogue, the Goyemment felt assured 
that the superstitious would not neglect to repair the canals with 
the greatest exactness.' Thus was their object gained by this 
religious artifice. 

I also avail myself of this opportunity of introducing an 
ingenious suggestion of Mr. Salt, that in Juvenal's account of 
the dispute between Ombos and Tentyris, Coptos^ should be 
substituted for the former; this town being much nearer, and 
consequently more likely to be engaged in a feud caused by the 
injuries done to an animal it held sacred in common with the 
more distant Ombos. 

The towns where it was looked upon with particular execra- 
tion were Tentyris,^ ApoUinopolis, Heracleopolis, and the island 
of Elephantine ; and the same aversion was common to all places 
where the Evil Being was typified by the crocodile. 

Of the mode of hunting the crocodile by the Tentyrites, and 
the skill they possessed in overcoming so powerful an animal, 
I have already spoken ; and have mentioned the method adopted, 
according to Herodotus, of catching it with a hook, to which a 
piece of pork was attached as a bait. But I ought not to omit 
another mode practised at the present day. They fasten a dog 
upon a log of wood, to the middle of which is tied a rope of 
suflScient length, protected by iron wire or other substance, to 
prevent its being bitten through ; and having put this into the 
stream, or on a sandbank at the edge of the water, they lie con- 
cealed near the spot, and await the arrival of the crocodile. As 
soon as it has swallowed the dog they pull the rope, which brings 
the stick across the animal's throat. It endeavours to plunge 
into deep water, but is soon fatigued by its exertions, and is 
drawn ashore ; when, receiving several blows on the head with 
long poles and hatchets, it is easily killed.* 

It is now seldom eaten, the flesh being bad ; but its hide is 
used, especially by the Ethiopians, for shields and other pur- 
poses; the glands are taken from beneath the arm or fore-leg 
for the musk they contain ; and some parts are occasionally dried 
and used as filters. In former times it seems rather to have 

* Euseb. Prsp. Evang. iii. 11. * They were also probably harpooned, as 

' * Barbara hsc Copies.' the ends of harpoons with a single barbed 

' Plin. Tii. 25. Of the skill of the hook, surmounted by a crocodile and baring 

Tentyrites in catching this animal, see beneath a ring, are in collections. (Brit. 

iElian, z. 24. Mus. Guide to Egypt Rooms, p. 40.)--S. B. 


been eaten as a mark of hatred to the Evil Being, of whom it 
was the emblem, than as an article of food ; ^ but those who by 
religions scruples were forbidden to eat its flesh, were not thereby 
deprived of a delicacy of the table. 

I have mentioned ' the fable of the trochilns and the croco- 
dile, and the animosity said to subsist between the latter and the 
ichneumon, as well as the supposed security against the crocodile 
to those who used a boat made of the papyrus. 

Herodotus says,^ 'Of all animals, none that we know of 
becomes so large, after haying been so small: its eggs^ are 
scarcely larger than those of the goose, but by degrees it reaches 
17 cubits (25 J feet) in length, and even more.' Plutarch* 
relates other tales of this oviparous animal, to which he attributes 
a plausible reason for paying it divine honours. 'It has no 
tongue, and is therefore looked upon as an image of the Deity 
Himself; the divine reason needing not speech, but going 
through still and silent paths, whilst it administers the world 
with justice.' * Another peculiar property of the crocodile is, 
that ^ough in the water its eyes are covered by a thin pellucid 
membrane which comes down from the forehead,® yet it is able 
to see, at the same time that it cannot be perceived to do so ; in 
which respect likewise it bears some resemblance to the first 
god. It is further remarked, that in whatever part of the country 
the female lays her eggs, so far will be the extent of the inunda- 
tion for that season, .... showing that it is imbued with an 

accurate knowledge of what will come to pass Moreover 

the eggs it lays are sixty in number, as are the days which 
pass before they are hatched, and the years of those which live 
the longest — a number of great importance to those who occupy 
themselves in astronomical matters.' ^lian^ mentions the same 
number of eggs, the sixty days before they are laid, and the same 
period before they are hatched. He also gives them sixty ver- 
tebne in their spine, and as many nerves, a life of sixty years, 
a mouth with this proportion of teeth, and a period of annual 
torpidity and fasting during the same number of days. It is 
from this number that lamblichus thinks the crocodile connected 
with the sun. The mummies of crocodiles are found at Thebes, 

* Diodor. L 35. eggs of Crocodiles. 

s Herodoi. ii. 68. iElian, iii. 11, riii. * Plat, de Isid. s. 75. 

25. AmmiaiL Marcell. zxii. p. 336. * From the side— the nictating, or nicti- 

* Hcrodot. ii. 68. tating, membrane. 

* lUcroh. Saturn, lib. r\L c. 16, on the ' iElian, z. 21. Cf. Aristot Hist. An. t. 




[Chap. XIV. 

Maabdeh, and other places, many of which are of full size and 
perfectly preserved.^ 

Of the lizard tribe' none but the crocodile seems to have 
been sacred. Those which occur in the hieroglyphics are not 
emblematic of the gods, nor connected with religion. 

I have already spoken of the choice of this serpent as an 
emblem of Chnoumis, and as a symbol of royalty,' on which 
account it received the name of basilisk.* 

Diodorus says the priests, of Ethiopia and Egypt had the asp 
coiled up in the caps they wore on religious ceremonies ; but 
this should rather have been applied to the kings, being a 
royal emblem, given only to the sovereign or -to the gods. 
Plutarch * states that * the asp is worshipped on account of a 
certain resemblance between it and the operations of the divine 
power ; and being in no fear of old age, and moving with great 
facility, though it does not seem to enjoy the proper organs for 
motion, it is looked upon as a proper symbol of the stars.' It 
was one of those creatures which were sacred throughout the 
country, though it enjoyed greater honours in places where the 
deities of whom it was the type presided, and, if we may believe 
Pausanias, particularly *at Omphis,* in Egypt.' Phylarchus^ 
relates that great honours were paid to the asp by the Egyptians, 
and, from the care they took of it, that it was rendered so tame 
as to live with their children without doing them any harm. It 
came from its place of retreat when called by the snapping of 
the fingers ; and after dinner some paste mixed with honey and 
wine being placed upon the table, it was called to take its repast. 
The same signal was used when anyone walked in the dark at 
night to warn the reptile of his approach. 

This serpent was called Thennuthis, and with it the statues 
of Isis were crowned as with a diadem.® * Asp-formed crowns* 
are frequently represented on the heads of goddesses and queens 

* The crocodile was called in Egyptian 
em stihu, * sprung of an egg.* They were 
sacred to Sebak, but also considered male- 
volent and personifications of evil actions, 
as the Egyptians had a great dread of the 
crocodile, which they exorcised. In the 
future state the deceased had to repulse 
the crocodiles, which had different mystical 
names. — S. B. ' Plin. viii. 25. 

' It was called in Egyptian drdy the 
Greek ouraios. It was the determinative 
or emblem of all goddesses, and placed on 
the disk or head-dresses of all the principal 

solar deities, probably on account of its 
representing NA.t unnu, *the lady of 
the hours/ attached to Ra or the sun. — 
S. B. 

• iElian considers it different from the 
asp ; and thinks it so deadly that if it bit 
a stick it would cause the death of him 
who held it. (Nat. An. ii. 5.) 

» Plut. de Isid. s. 74. 

• Pausanias (B<eot. c. 21) says, * The asps 
of Ethiopia are black, like the people.' 

' iElian, Nat. An. xvii. 5. 

• Ibid. X. 31. 

Chap. XIV.] THE ASP. 335 

in the Egyptian sculptures. The statues of the mother and wife 
of Amenophis (the vocal Memnon) in the plain of Thebes have a 
crown of this kind ; and the Bosetta Stone mentions ' asp-formed 
crowns/ though this last might refer to the single asp attached to 
the front of the cap usually worn by the king. Instances some- 
times occur of a fillet of asps bound round the royal crown, and 
I have once seen the same encircling the head-dress of Osiris, 
^ian^ mentions a custom of ' the Egyptian kings, to wear asps 
of different colours in their crowns, this reptile being emblematic 
of the invincible power of royalty.' Some, he adds, ^are of a 
greenish hue, but the generality black, and occasionally red.' 
I am however inclined to think that this idea arose from the 
different colours given to the asp in the paintings, rather than 
from any real variety in the living animal. The asp was also 
the emblem of the goddess Bannu. It was then supposed to 
protect the houses or the gardens of individuals, as well as the 
infancy of a royal child, in the character of guardian genius. 
Sometimes an asp was figured with a human head. 

.^ian^ relates many strange stories of the asp,^ and the 
respect paid to it by the Egyptians ; but we may suppose that 
in his sixteen species^ of asps other snakes were included. He 
also speaks^ of a dragon,® which was sacred in the Egyptian 
Halite (Metelis), and another kind of snake called Farias, or 
Paruas, dedicated to ^sculapius.^ The serpent of Melite had 
priests and ministers, a table and a bowl. It was kept in a 
tower, and fed by the priests with cakes® made of flour and 
honey, which they placed there in the bowl. Having done this, 
they retired. The next day, on returning to the apartment, the 
food was found to be eaten, and the same quantity was again 
pot into the bowl, for it was not lawful for anyone to see the 
aacred reptile. On one occasion a certain elder of the priests, 
being anxious to behold it, went in alone, and having de- 
posited the cake withdrew, until the moment when he sup- 
posed the serpent had come forth to its repast.' He then 
entered, throwing open the door with great violence; upon 
which, the serpent withdrew in evident indignation, and the 

> iSlian, Nat. An. vi. 33. that the dragon of the Greeks wai onlj a 

' Ibid. ir. 54, x. 31, and xi. 32. He large kind of snake with, as he says, * scales 

makes it in love, without being com- like a pine-cone.' ' MMan, viii. 19. 

pUmantarj to Egyptian beauty. * Cakes seem to hare been nsually giren 

* Plin. riii. 23. * iElian, x. 31. to the snakes of antiquity — as to the dragon 

* iElian, xi. 17. of the Hesperides. (Virg. Mn. ir. 4S3.) 

* It is erident from Pausanias (Att. 21) * Orid, lib. ii. Amor. Eleg. 13, to Isis. 





[Chap. XIV. 

priest shortly after became frantic^ and having confessed his 
crime expired. 

According to Juvenal,^ the priests of Isis, in his time, oon- 
trived that the silver idols of snakes, kept in her temple, 
should move their heads to a supplicating votary; and ex- 
travagant notions connected with serpents are not wanting in 
the paintings of the tombs of the kings at Thebes, and are 
traced in the religions of all nations of antiquity. 

The Egyptian asp is a species of Cobra da capello,^ and is 
still very common in Egypt, where it is called Ndshirj a word 
signifying ' spreading,' from its dilating its breast when angry. 
It is the same which the Hdwee, or snake-players, the Psylli^ 
of modem days,^ use in their juggling tricks, having previously 
taken care to extract its fangs, or, which is a still better pre- 
caution, to bum out the poison-bag with a hot iron. They ar^ 
generally about three or four feet long, but some are consider- 
ably larger, one in my possession measuring exactly six feet in 
length; and ^lian^ scmples not to give them five cubits. 
They are easily tamed. Their food is mice, frogs, and various 
reptiles; and they mostly live in gardens during the warm 
weather,* where they are of. great use — the reason, probably, 
of their having been chosen in ancient times as a protecting 
emblem.' In the winter they retire to their holes, and remain 
in a torpid state, being incapable of bearing cold, as I had 
reason to observe with two I kept in the house at Cairo, which 
died in one night, though wrapped up in a skin and protected 
from the air. 

The size of the asp necessarily suggests the question, why 
should Cleopatra have chosen so inconvenient a serpent?* 
This name was perhaps sometimes applied, like our term viper, 
to many venomous serpents of different species; and another 
kind of poisonous snake of a much more convenient and 

» Juv. Sat. vi. 537. 

* ColubeTy or Naja ffaje, 
» iElian, i. 57. 

* MiiAn, speaking of the power of the 
Egyptians over snakes and birds, says, 
* They are said to be enabled by a certain 
magical art to bring down birds from 
heaven, and to charm serpents, so as to 
make them come forth from their lurking- 
places at their command ' (lib. vi. c 33). 
He thinks that no one ever recovered from 
the bite of an asp (vi. 38); though he 
modifies this opinion in anotherplace (ii. 5). 

* iElian, Nat. An. vi. 38. He mentions 

dragons of thirteen and fourteen cubits 
(20 feet), brought from Ethiopia to Alex- 
andria. This was for jEsculapius. ' Dens 
intersit * (xvi. 39). • iEUan, t. 53. 

' Ammian. Marcell. (xxii. 15, p. 33S) 
says, * The asp exceeds all others in siit ain 
beauty.' His acontia is perhaps the lyor, 

* flyer,' of modem Egypt. Plin. TiiL XS : 

* Jaculum ex arborum ramis vibrari.' 

* The reason assigned is that from ob- 
servation or experiment she had found fh n\ 
the bite of the a«p caused death attended 
by the least apparent pain. It was *1««? 
more easily introduced to her. — S. B. 

. XIV.] THE SNAKE. 337 

portoUe sixe, common in Lower Egypt,^ may have been the 
ovi« used by her, and have been miscalled by the Greeks an 
^^pj Mammies of the asp are discovered in the Necropolis of 

The harmless house-snake, from its destroying mice and 

ions reptiles in their dwellings and outhouses, was looked upon 

^rith great respect by the Egyptians. Though used to represent 

Eternity, and sometimes occurring in the mysterious subjects 

of the tombs, it does not appear to have been sacred to any of 

the great deities of Egypt ; and if it belonged to any, it was 

probably only to those of an inferior order, in the region of 

AiaentL It is doubtful if the snake with its tail in its mouth 

was really adopted by the Egyptians as the emblem^ of Eternity. 

It oocnrs on papyri,^ encircling the figure of Harpocrates ; but 

tlieve is no evidence of its having that meaning, and I do 

net ranember to have seen it on any monuments of an ecurly 

Egyptian epoch. 

The snake in former times played a conspicuous part in the 

BiTateries of religion: many of the subjects, in the tombs of 

<lie kings at Thebes in particular, show the ini{N)rtancc it was 

^i^Hight to enjoy in a future state; and JElian^ seems to speak 

^ a ' sobterraneous chapel and closet at each comer of the 

^Syptian temples, in which the Thermuthis asp was kept,' as 

^ it were the universal custom throughout the country to keep 

^ tacred serpent. That the asp was universally honoured a{>- 

P^ars to be highly probable; but other serpents did not enjoy 

^^ same distinction, and one was looked ujion by the Egyptians 

M i type of the evil being, under the name of Aphophis, * the 

ftiiiit* It was represented to have been kille<l by Horns ; an<l 

^ this fable may be traced that of Apollo and Pytho, as well 

^ the war of the giants against the gcnls, in Greek niytholopry. 

' TW &Atf JMTO. |m»iie<l, and Platmrrli (Vit. Antun.) «hnw9 

* [Tkat ii, if CleofMtra** death had that the storj of the a^p was doutaeii. 

caoMd hj aoT aerjieiit, hot the Nur U the statue cirrii-*! iu Auf;u»tu>i* 

li diaproTed by her harinfi; decked triumph, which had an a-.p uj^m it, anr 

f IB * the rojal omaments,* and being pnivft»f hit b«rlirf in it, oince that unnlKe 

dead 'without anj mark of suapicion wa5 the emMvm i>f K^ypti.iQ royalty: the 

M« !« her body.* lH*ath fn>m a statue (or the rrown) v( <'li"«p.itr.t coulil 

I'f bite rould nut be mintaken : and not hare be«>n without od*-, an*! tht« wa» 

hm TaBity would not hart alhiwed her to pmhabljr the ori|;io t>f th<^ whi<le >it>n-. — 

<kMn Mt which would hare di«H);ured G. W.] 

ter i» M> frightful a manner, inhrr ' Macrobiu* (Snt. i. h) ^^rt it wa^ a 

fmmmm were wvU undenttKul awl eajijr of I'ha-birian m«*il«* i>f r^prr^t-ntic^ th** WurM. 
■eana, mad no boy would have Trotured to * A |upTruii in the ikrlin Mu*eum has 

carry aa asp in a basket of ti|;s somr of this rmblrm. 
wfeick he eTra oflertd to the guards as he * .Klun, i. 31. 



By the serpent the Jews also typified the enemy of mankind. 
And such is the aversion entertained for snakes by the Moslems, 
that they hold in abhorrence everything which bears a resem- 
blance to them ; and a superstitions fancy induces them to break 
in two every hair that accidentally falls from their beards, lest 
it should turn to one of these hateful reptiles. 

The notion mentioned by Pliny ,^ of snakes being produced 
from the marrow of the human spine, is not less ridiculous and 
unaccountable ; and no animal has enjoyed so large a share of 
the marvellous as the snake, which, from the earliest times, 
excited the wonder, the respect, or the abhorrence of mankind. 

Some venerated it with unbounded horrors: it was an emUem 
of the world, which Eusebius says was sometimes described by a 
circle intersected by a serpent passing horizontally through it : 
some gods were accompanied by it as a type of wisdom ; "and 
several religions considered it emblematic both of a good and 
bad deity. The Hindoo serpent Caliya, slain by Vishnoo, in 
his incarnation of Crishna (which corresponded to the Python 
and Aphophis of the Greek and Egyptian mythologies), was the 
enemy of the gods, though still looked upon with a religious 
feeling ; the Mexicans and Scandinavians considered the snake 
the type of an evil deity ; and the Tempter of mankind was 
represented under the same form. Gods and heroes obtained 
credit for ridding the world of these hateful creatures; and 
humble individuals were sometimes made to partake of this 
honour, ^lian' speaks of snakes expelled by Helen from the 
isle of Pharos, on planting a herb, called after her Helenium,' 
which she had received from Polydamna, the wife of Thonis; 
and a similar kind office is attributed to some Christian saints.^ 

A remnant of superstitious feeling in favour of the serpent 
still exists in Egypt in the respect paid to the snake of Sheikh 
Hereedee, which is supposed to perform cures for the credulous 
and devout, when propitiated through the pockets of its keepers. 

The winged serpents of Herodotus have been already men- 
tion ed,** whose existence was believed by Aristotle* and many 
other writers of antiquity. Those introduced into the paintings 

^ PI in. X. 66 ; ;Elian, i. 52. £lian seems * Possibly the horned snake is the 

to consider snakes the food of the stag, as emblem of the goddess Nahab or Nahab-qa. 

asses of the wolf, bees of the merops, cicadas — S. B. 

of the swallow (viii. 6, and ii. 9). • Herodot. ii. 75, iii. 107. Cicero brings 

* iElian, ix. 21. them from Libya (de Nat. Deor. lib. L), 

* Ibid. ix. 20, where he mentions a Herodotus from Arabia, 
stone of similar efficacy. * Aristot. Anim. i. 5. 


oC £g7pt are of a different kind, and merely emblematic reprc- 
■^^tations connected with the mysterious rites of the dead, or 
^e fables of Amenti. 

* In the environs of Thebes/ says Herodotus/ * is a species of 
■•cied snake of a very small size, on whose head are two horns. 
^^^j do no harm to man ; and when they die, they are buried 
u^ the temple of Jupiter, to whom they are reputed to be sacred.* 
I*li<se homed snakes (Cerastes) are very common in Upper 
Egrypt, but are seldom found as &r north as Cairo. I have, 
however, seen one in the Fyo6m, even in the island in the middle 
of Lake Mceris, which is very remarkable, as they are not in the 
kmbit of entering the water, like the asp and some other serpents. 
n»« female alone has horns, the male resembling it in every 
oCber respect. They are both exceedingly venomous ; and from 
ir habit of burying themselves in the sand, which is of their 
colour, they are extremely dangerous. It is perhaps to 
these that Strabo' alludes when he says that the desert between 
Pelusiom and Heroopolis is infested by numerous reptiles, which 
iMiry themselves in the sand; unless, indeed, ho refers to the 
Lttoerta monitor and other lizards, which live in holes in the 
Mady soil, and which still abound in that part of the country. 
Bnt Pliny* distinctly points out their habit of burying them- 
•eWes, when he says, ' The cerastes have small horns rising from 
itkeir bodies (heads), often in two pairs, by which they entice 
tards to them, the rest of their body being concealed.' It is 
fattunate that Herodotus was not convinced of his error, re- 
specting their harmless nature, by {>ersoual experience; and 
iKodorus^ properly ranks them among reptiles particularly 
dettmctive to man. They are called by the Arabs ILje bil 
-foro^ or the homed snake; Cerastes by Tliny; and Viper 
(tut Coluber) cerastes by Linureus. There is no evidence from 
Ike sculptures of their having been sacrtHl to the god of Thebes ; 
^nd LKodonis thinks the hawk was e8t<*emed from its hostility to 
Vhcae as well as to other noxious n*ptiles. They were, however, 
honoured with sepulture there, as the Father of History tells us ; 
wid, on his authority, I have rankeil them among the sacriMl 
of Egypt.^ 

' Btrodoi. ii. 74. is braealh the ncmles. Some are oflereil 

' Sirmbn, iTii. p. 552. fvr Mie with Iodk riowing hair. 

* Flan. Till. 23. Arictotle aUo ncBtion* * I>i<«lor. i. 87. 

tht cwrasiet (ADim. iL 1). The Make- * The L|CT|itiaii iMine wm //iI. uid thev 

oliea bring the ccraitca with foar vert U!ie«l in hieroglyphics fnr th« nA«- 

tkt ciUa |iAir b«iBg clererlj pat culiat affiled pronoun f. They do not 

z 2 



[Chap. XIV. 

The frog was an emblem of man in embryo, as we are in- 
formed by HorapoUo.^ There are also a frog-headed god and 
goddess;^ the former, probably, a form of Ptah, the CreatiYe 
Power, though in some inferior capacity. The importance at- 
tached to the firog, in some parts of Egypt, is shown by its 
having been embalmed and honoured with sepulture in the 
tombs of Thebes. 

The fabulous reptiles mostly consist of snakes with the 
head of a man, a lion, or a hawk, frequently with legs, or with 
wings; and the head of a snake is sometimes attached to the 
body of a lion, or a vulture. 

Of the sacred fish^ the most noted were the Oxyihynchus, 
the Phagrus, and the Lepidotus. They, however, appear not 
to have been worshipped throughout the country, if we may 
judge from the war between the Oxyrhynchites and the people 
of Cynopolis.^ Plutarch' tells us these three fish were unlawful 
food to the Egyptians, in consequence of their having devoured 
a part of the body of Osiris, which Isis was unable to recover 
when she collected the scattered members of her husband. 
They were therefore particularly avoided. In another place 
he says, ^The Egyptians, in general, do not abstain fix>m all 
fish, but some from one sort and some from another. Thus, 
for instance, the Oxyrhynchites will not touch any taken by a 
hook; for as they pay an especial reverence to the Oxyrhynchus, 
from which they borrow their name, they are afraid the hook 
may be defiled by having, at some time or other, been em- 
ployed in catching their favourite fish. The people of Syene, 
in like manner, abstain from the Phagrus ; for, as it is observed 
by them to make its first appearance just as the Nile begins to 
overflow, they pay especial regard to the voluntary messenger 
of such joyful news. The priests, indeed, abstain entirely* from 
all sorts; and therefore on the ninth day of the first month, 
when all the rest of the Egyptians are obliged by their religion 

appear to have been worshipped, but some- 
times were sculptored. The other snakes 
were the viper, used as the consonant i ; the 
mehenj a very long snake ; and the Apap 
or Aph5phis, abo of large size. — S. B. 

* Horapollo, i. 25; Diodor. i. 10; and 
^lian, ii. 56, who ' was once caught in a 
shower of rain mixed with imperfect frogs, 
near Naples, on his way to Dicsarchia.' 
He was an eye-witness of it ; but, as Gibbon 
says of Abu-Rafe, 'who will be witness 

for ' iElian ? (JElian, yi. 41, of Mice.) 

' Nu or Nun, and Nut, the male and 
female principle of water and the celestial 
water or abyss. Another frog-h«tded god- 
dess, Heqa, the wife of Num or Khnnm, 
also presided orer the same element. — S. B. 

* For the fish of the Nile, see Strabo, lib. 
xTii. p. 566. 

* Plut. de Isid. s. 72. 
» Ibid. 8. 18. 

* Clemens Alex. Strom, ni. p. 240. 



to eat a fried fish, before the door of their houses, they only 
bnm them, without tasting them at all. They assign two 
reasons for this: one connected with the sacred account of 
Osiris and Typho (already mentioned); the second, that fish 
IB neither a dainty, nor even a necessary kind of food. And 
this seems to be confirmed by the writings of Homer, who 
never mentions either his delicate Phaeacians, or the people of 
Ithaca, though both islanders, feeding upon them ; nor even 
Ulysses' companions themselves, during their long and tedious 
voyage, till reduced to it by extreme necessity.'^ 

I have already stated my belief that the Oxyrhynchus was 
the Mizdeh of modem Egypt, a species of Mormyrus. It was 
remarkable for its pointed nose, whence its name, a peculiarity 
easily recognised in one of those represented in the sculptures ; 
though, from the fins (if really intended to be a faithful repre- 
sentation), it would appear that several kinds were comprehended 
under the same denomination by the Egyptians.^ 


The OxjrhTnchos fish, in bTX>nxe. 

It is singular that the Oxyrhynchus should be commonly 
^gored amongst the fish caught by the Egyptians, in the 
jMdntings of Thebes, of Beni-Hassan, and of Memphis. This 
"^rould seem to confine its worship to the nome and city of 
^hiyrhynchus, where, as already stated, the people were so scru- 
JmlonSy that they could not be induced to eat any other fish 
'^hich had been taken by a hook,^ lest it should at any time 
luve been defiled by catching their favourite. ^Even when 
icnany different kinds were taken by them in a net, they looked 
>)M)st carefully for any Oxyrhynchus that might accidentally be 
^^aoght^ preferring to have none rather than the most abundant 
^laught^ if a single one were found in it.' But it is probable 

> Pint, dt Iiid. s. 7. 

* That with a pointed nose cnrred down- 
vdf ii the Mormyrua oxyrhjfnchu$. Its 
^«Md fin extends nearly along the whole 
^^•ck, which is the case with the M, ooBcMve, 
'^host nose is much less prominent. Other 
^omyH, as the ZabkOuSf AngtOMdes, 

and Dorsalis, hare not the dorsal fin like 
that of the Jf. oxyrhynchus, and a less 
pointed nose ; which last in the M. eypri- 
noltdez is abmpt or round. 

* £lian, Nat. An. z. 46. Plat, de Isid. 
8. 7. 



that many other places extended to this fish a feeling of yeneiar 
tion ; small bronze figures of it being often disoovered in Egypt, 
some of which have the horns, globe, and nraeus of Athor. 

In the temple of the Great Oasis is also a representation of 
this fish, accompanied by the name of the goddess, which leaves 

no doubt of its having been her emblem ; and 
^ ^ ^^ this is the more remarkable, as it coincides 
■^^-^^^ with the metamorphosis of Venus, who was 

said to have changed herself into a fish, and 
shows the Egyptian origin of that fable. 
At the Oasis. <Hatbor Its roputod sauctity was perhaps owing to 
SKT" "^ ^"^ ^""^ ^ its being thought less wholesome than other 
***• kinds ; for it is still an opinion in Egypt that 

smooth-bodied fish are less proper for food than those with scales 
[and the Oxyrhynchus, from the smaUness of its scales, may have 
been reckoned among the former. — G. W.]. It is, however, 
probable that the prejudice in its favour was in some way con- 
nected with the careful maintenance of the canal which took 
the water from the river to the city where it was particularly 

The Fhagrus or eel was sacred at Syene^ and the Cataracts. 
It also* gave its name to the nome and city of Fhagroriopolis, 
near to Eeroopolis ; where its worship was doubtless introduced 
with a view to secure the preservation of the canal " of fre^ 
wateVy which passed from the Nile to the Bed Sea. The eel is 
once represented at Beni-Hassan among the fish of the Nile; 
but I have not seen it in the sculptures as a sacred fish.* There 
is, however, no reason to doubt the assertion of Plutarch and 
other writers ; and it is probable that the Egyptians generally 
abstained from eating it on account of its unwholesome qualities. 
The name of Lepidotus (which, from the meaning of the word, 
is shown to have been * a scaly fish ') has been given to the Eelb 
el Bahr, Salmo dentex,^ the Eisher or Gisher, Perca Niloticay and 
the Binny, OypriniM lepidotus. I have previously stated the pro- 
bability of the first of these having been the Lepidotus ; yet the 

1 Clemens, Orat. Adhort. p. 17. Eue- pshent and the body of an eel, are found 

nitie should evidently be Suenitse. (iElian, in collections. (British Maseam, Guide to 

Nat. An. x. 19.) Egyptian Gall., p. 62, No. 6880a.) They 

' Strabo, lib. xvii. pp. 533 and 566. should from the head-attire represent the 

* It was, however, deified and apparently goddess Mut. The eel was sacred to 

embalmed, as bronze boxes for holding Hapi or the Nile. — S. B. 

the mummies, surmounted by the figure * Or CharoGinus dentex of Sarigny. 
of the head of a goddess wearing the 

Cbap. XIT.] 


la LrpUHiu. 

form of wliat I believe to be this sacied fish, represented ia 
htotaea found at Thebes, accords rather with the last ; though 
the modem name hiaher, signi- 
fying 'scaly,' may tend to 
strengthen the claim of the 
seoond of the three. But the 
indefinite ikame of kisher appears 
to be often applied to other fish, 
beudea the Perca NUotica ; and 
it is evident that the Binny is 
also called by the Arabs hisher. 
The Binny is the Cypriniu Iqaidoim of the 'Description de 
r^f^^ypte,' and the same as represented in the bronze of the 
preceding woodcnL 

De Fanw' supposes the Latos to be the Perea NUotiea, but I do 
not know on what authority. Were it not for the circumstance 
of the bronze fish bearing a stronger resemblance to the Binny 
than to any other with which I am acquainted, I should not 
■oppose it to have been a forbidden fish, since it is one of the 
b^ and most wholesome the Kile produces, and should still 
liave preferred giving the name of Lepidotus to the Eelb el Bahr, 
whose appearance might serve to prejudice them against it. 

The uncertainty respecting the sacred fish of Egypt neces- 
Mrily leads to many doubtful conjectures ; but the appearance 
of the bronzes induces me to renounce the opinion I had formed 
leapecting the Kelb el Bahr, and to give to the Binny, or 
Girprinos, the name of Lepidotus. 

Another fish, the Latns, was worshipped at Latopolis,' now 
&ueh. In the sculptures several repre- 
sentations occur of fish, particularly one 
kind, which may possibly be the peculiar 
■pecies held sacred in that city, as it is 
frroonded by an oval usually given to the & fl*ii u tmcb. 

mines of kings and gods. 

The Mieotes is said by Clemens of Alexandria to have been 
■Kied at Elephantine ; * but I am ignorant of its species and 
Seneial character. It is possible that it may have been the 
^fmoot, a species of Silurns,* which, if not worshipped in the 
^bdd, was connected with one of the genii of the Egyptian 

' T«L L Met. 3, p. 136. 
I Stnbcs lib. iTii. p. 559. 
Climcw Alei. Ont. Adhort. p. IT. 



[Chap. XIV. 

Pantheon, who appears under a human form, with the head of 
this fish, in the sculptures of the Diospolite tombs. In Lower 
Egypt the karmoot was caught for the table ; but there is no 
evidence of its having been eaten in the Thebiud, and this may 
be an argument in favour of its having held a place among the 
sacred animals in that part of the country, ^lian/ however, 
states that the Phagrus, the sacred fish of Syene, was the same as 
that called by the people of Elephantine Mseotes. The reason 
assigned by him for the veneration there paid to it, is the inti- 
mation it gave of the rising Nile ; ^ and he gives it the additional 
credit of being exempt from the cannibal propensity common to 
other fish, of eating those of its own kind. Several fish have 
been found embalmed in the tombs; but their forms are not 
easily distinguished, and it is difficult to ascertain the species to 
which they belong.' 

The scorpion was an emblem of the goddess Selk; though 
we should rather expect it to have been chosen as a type of the 
Evil Being.^ ^lian' mentions scorpions of Coptos, which, 
though inflicting a deadly sting and dreaded by the people, so 
far respected the goddess Isis, who was particularly worshipped 
in that city, that women, in going to express their grief before 
her, walked with bare feet, or lay upon the ground, without 
receiving any injury from them.* Many extravagant fables are 
reported by the same author of these as of other animals, and he 
even furnishes scorpions and pigs with wings.^ 

No representation has yet been found of the Solpuga spider,* 
which is common in Upper Egypt, and which from its venomous 
qualities is looked upon as a noxious reptile ; though some think 
it of great use, from its enmity to scorpions, which it is said to 
destroy. To its power of doing so I can bear ample testimony, 
having witnessed more than one contest between them, in which 
the Solpuga was victorious ; though, when stung by its adversary. 

* JFAi&n^ Nat. An. x. 19. 

* Plutarch applies the same to the 

' Besides the first mentioned, there are 
some others described in the papyri, some 
of which are foreign and were introduced 
into the country ; as the lU, the baka or 
fahaka of the Nile of the Arabs, the ra, 
two sorts of harui or mullets, the amesku 
(conjectured to be a kind of mormyrus or 
oxyrhynchus), the hauana and the khep-nen 
of the Euphrates, the at and khept-pennu, 
* rat's tail,' perhaps eel of the ditches of 
the inundation. ('Select Papyri,' Plate xcvi. 

6-9; Birch, *Pat*re Egyptienne,' p. 39.) 
The Synodontis Sehal was the sacred fish 
of the goddess Hathor. — S. B. 

* jElian, vi. 23 : he even produces them 
from a dead crocodile (ii. 33). 

» iElian, x. 23. 

* A bronze figure of a scorpion in the 
British Museum (No. 6680a) with a human 
head surmounted by a female head with 
head-dress, unfortunately broken, has on 
the pedestal the name of the goddess Isis. 
— ^. B. ' iElian, xri. 41, and xiL 38. 

* The Solpuga araneoldes, Plin. riiL 29, 
xix. 4, and xxii. 25. 

Cup. XIY.] the SGARABiBUS. 345 

it grenerally dies on the spot. But this seldom linppens, owing 
to tho f^reat quickness of its movements ; and whenever the place 
in which the contest takes place is sufficiently spacious, the 
vmpidity with which it runs round its adversary and seizes it by 
the head (when the sting of the scorpion can only reach the hard 
alielly head of the Solpuga) always ensures its success. 

The frequent occurrence of the scarabtcus in the sculptures, 
no lesA than the authority of numerous ancient writers, shows 
the grrat consequence attached by the E<;:yptians to this insect. 
• A grreat ]M)rtiun of Egypt/ says Pliny/ ' worship the scarabocus 
one of the gods of the country ; a curious reason for which 
griven by Apion, as an excuse for the religious rites of his 

ion — that in this insect there is some resemblance to the 
operations of the sun.' 

It was an emblem of the sun, to which deity it was particu- 
larly (iai*nNl ; and it oft«n occurs in a boat with extended wings, 
liokling the globe of the sun in its claws, or elevated in the 
firmament as a type of that luminary in the meridian.' Figures 
of c»ther deities are often seen praying to it when in this character. 
£Tho Nubians, transferring the idea of the worshipi)or to the 
^ing worshipped, call the scarabsus ' infidel.' — G. W.J 

It was also a symbol of the world, which it was chosen to 
migtiify in the hieroglyphics ; and it was ]>robably in connection 
^irith this idea that Ptah, the Creative Power, claimed it as his 
Emblem, being the demiurge, or maker of the world. By Ptah- 
Socharis-Osiris, the pigmy deity of 3Iemphis, it was adopted as a 
distinctive mark, lieing placed on his head ; and Ptah was even 
x^preseuted under the figure of this insect. It l)elonged likewise 
to IHah-Ton?, another character of the Creative P4)wtT. 

lMutan*h sup])0se8 that, from being emblenuitic of virility and 
liiAnly force, it was engraved U{)on the signets^ of the Egyptian 
Soldiers, their opinion being ' that no females existe<l of this 
«peoi(?s. but all males ;' and some have supiMiscd that its ]N)sition 
upon the ft*male figure of the heavens, which encin»les tho 
iinliacs, n*ferM to the same idea of its generative influence 
lnentitine«I bv Plutarch. 

It has always been a matter of doubt to what purpose tho 
no^le^lns m^anilMei of all sizes and qnalitii^s f(»und in Egypt 
verr* appliitl. Some suppose them t4) have In'i'U money; but 

* P\.n. 111. r. 11. from n***tk t«i ^Tt-nini;; «o4 VUhnoo in tht 

* With Ul« HidIimi* th« lUO U MlU<i Wr««t AB'l At Hl^ht. 

bnkm« IB th« wut w muintng ; Sira * Tlut. «i« Uid. u. 10 and 73. 




this conjecture is not supported by fact, nor indeed by proba- 
bility, in coQBeqnence of their great dissimilarity in size, weight, 
and many particulars required for establishing the value of a 
coin. They were principally used for rings, necklaces, and other 
ornamental trinkets, as well as for funeral purposes. Some of a 
larger size frequently had a prayer, or legend connected with 
the dead, engraved upon them ; and a winged Bcarabiens was 
generally placed on those bodies which were embalmed according 
to the most expensive process. 

It is probably to their being worn as rings that Platarch 
alludes, in speaking of ' the beetle engraved upon the signets of 
the soldiers.' The custom is mentioned by ^liim ;' and some 
have been found perfect, set in gold with the ring attached. 

The scarabffios may then be considered, 1, an emblem of the 
sun ; ' 2, of Ptah, the Creative Power, and of Ptah-^^per ; 3, of 
Ptah Socharis-OsinB 4 of the world 5 connected with astro- 
nomical subjects ^ and 6 with timor^ ntes 

The scarabfeus was not only venerated when abve, but em 
balmed after death and some have been foond in that state at 
Thebes. But the 
cities where it re- 
ceived the greatest 
honours were proba- 
bly Memphis and 
Heliopolis of which 
Ptah and the sun 
were the chief dei 

Considerable inge- 
nuity has been exer 
cised in order to dis- 
cover the real sacred 
beetle of Egypt, and 
to ascertain to what 
extent other species 
partook of the honours paid to that insect. I do not intend to 
detain the reader by any examination of this intricate question, 
which I leave to naturalists more capable than myself to settle,* 

■ JOIIan, I. 15. ' It occura ia >ome zodUa in the place 

* A wiaged icaraWai bearing the diik of Cancer, 

of R«iru alio pat for the winged globe of * Pettigrew'i 'Hittorf of U ammie*,' pp. 

Har-Hit; but this wu odI/ in Ueo of 323-225. 




•ad thall only obflenre that the ono so frequently represented 
in the sculptures appears to be the beetle still common in 
eTery part of Egypt^ And if HorapoUo mentions a beetle 
' iritli two horns/ the Copris liidis, consecrated to the moon, his 
■tatement is not confirmed by the sculptures, where it is neyer 

HorapoUo ' says, ' There are three species of beetles. One has 
the form of a cat, and is radiated, which from supposed analogy 
they hare dedicated to the sun (the statue of the deity of 
Heliopolls haying the form of a cat) ; and, from its haying 
thirty fingers, corresponding to the thirty days of a solar month. 
The second species has two horns, and the character of a bull, 
^rhich is consecrated to the moon; whence the Egyptians say 
that the bull in the heayens is the eleyation of this goddess. 
The third has one hom,^ and a peculiar form, and is supposed, 
like the ibis, to refer to Mercury.' 

The mode of representing the scarabffii ' on the monuments is 

frequently yery arbitrary, and some are figured with or without the 

Mcmtsllum. But I do not belieye they denoted a difierent genus ; 

d the characteristic of another kind of beetle appears rather 

be introduced to show that they were all comprehended under 

one general denomination, and was intended rather to combine 

Uian to distinguish separate genera. That it was not with a 

"^iew to indicate a distinct diyision of this class of insects is 

mhown by their sometimes introducing two scutclla, one on 

either clypeus, no example of which occurs in nature;* and 

it seems that the scarabseus, Buprestis, Ateuchus, and Copris, 

Were all used by the Egyptians as synonymous emblems of 

the same deities. This is further confirmed by the fact of 

Paaaalacqua having found a species of Buprestis embalmed in 

% tomb at Thebes. But the scarabffius, or Ateuchus iaceVy is 

the beetle most commonly represented, and the type of the 

whole class. 

Fabulous insects did not hold a less conspicuous place on the 

* Hie ScarahoHM Morr (LioB.X »r AUu- 
neer (Olir.), which U bUck, like that 
if th» nMBQineDU. Th« |n^«ii AUucKmi 
^ggpiwnun 11 not the ub« ther* rcpre- 

• U the Brituh Ma warn ii the broait 
lg«re of A Kanbruii with two horni. 

t4> the First And SecuDd Egyptian 
' p. 20, 204241.)— S. b. 

* HonpullOf I. 10. 

* SomII figarM of the OBt-honed •cara* 

beat ocgauoimUt occur. — S. B. 

* The priBci|al rarietir* on the nonn- 
nents are aa tnllnw : scarabvi with plaim 
elytra, indicate-l by a tioKle diriaion; ica- 
rab«i with plain rlytra and a donble diri- 
•ion or line betw««n the elytra ; tcarabsi 
with itriateii rlytra an-i tingle or double 
diritioDs. These rarietiea occur in all 
materials an*! siaet. — S. Ii. 

* An initance of thii occnrt in the large 
■carabaoa of the Bhtiah MoMnm. 



[Chap. XIV. 

Egyptian monuments than fanciful animals and birds; and 
beetles with the heads of hawks, rams, cows, and even men,^ are 
represented in the sculptures. This change of form did not 
make them less fit emblems of the gods : the scarabseus of the 
sun appears with the head of a ram as well as of a hawk ; and a 
scarabseus with the head and legs of a man was equally 
emblematic of the god Ptah.^ 

Of other insects I shall only obsenre, that flies are said to 
have been preserved in the same tombs ; but doubtless without 
any idea of sanctity being attached to so odious and troublesome 
an insect.^ Indeed they still continue to be one of the plagues 
of Egypt ; and the character of a tarmentery applied to the Evil 
Being, seems to have been aptly designated by the title 
Beelzebub/ or * the lord of flies.' 

The ant is also one of the plagues of the country, as in most 
hot climates. Horapollo^ says it represented in hieroglyphics 
'knowledge;' but the consideration of its wisdom did not 
prevent the Egyptians from being fully sensible of the in- 
convenience it caused them, 'having the art of discovering 
whatever is most carefully concealed ;' and the origanum plant 
was used in order to drive away this industrious and tiresome 

Few insects of ancient Egypt have come down to us either 
in the paintings of the monuments, or preserved by accident : 
the former being confined to the butterfly, beetle, wasp, dragon- 
fly, locust, and housefly ; and the latter, to those which have 
been found in the bodies or heads of mummies.* 

I have stated that the Fersea was sacred to Athor, as the 

* The principal varieties are as follow : 
scarabiei with human heads ; scarabeei with 
the heads of rams, emblems of the god 
Khnum or Chnoumis ; scarabsei with the 
heads of hawks, always of lapis-lazuli, em- 
blems of the god Ha ; and haematite scara- 
baei with the head of a bull, probably 
emblematic of Apis. These were probably 
sepulchral amulets. — S. B. 

' The scarabffios was called kheprar or 
MtepreTf and was the emblem of type, 
shape, or metamorphosis. It was also 
named ab or a/, * fly.' — S. B. 

* The fly was used as a honorary emblem 
and applied to certain decorations bestowed 
for the reward of military honour, ap- 
parently as the order of the fly: it was 
then made of gold. Small flies of steatite 
glazed were used for necklaces. — S. B. 

* The x^}ub or dthebdb of the Arabs is 
the noted fly of the desert, which causes a 
disease to camels called by the same name. 

* Horapollo, i. 52, and ii. 34. 

* Pettigrew has enumerated all that 
have been ascertained by Mr. Hope, to 
whom those in one of the heads brought 
by me from Thebes were submitted for 
examination : — 

1. Corynetes violaceus, Fab, 

2. Necrobia mumiarum, Hope. 

3. Dermestes vulpinus. Fab, 

4. pollinctos, I 

5. roei, \ Hope. 

6. elongatos, ) 

7. Pimelia spinulosa, King f 

8. Copris sabseus? 'found by Passa- 

lacqua ; so named on the testimony 
of Latreille.' [9. 

Cmat. XIT.] SACBXD TBEBS and plants. 849 

■yeaiDore to Xat. I htm also obseirecl that Flatarch sappoees 
tiie peach to hare been sacred to Harpocrates ;* though there is 
reaaon to beliere that bis opinion is erroueous, and that he has 
dvnfoanded it with the tree of Athor. 

AthenKtis, on the authority of HellanicaB,* mentions some 
acftnthns (acacia) trees, which blosaomed all the year, at a place 
cmlled Tindium, where certain celebrated assemblies were held ; 
mad this town had a large temple, surrounded with black and 
«rhite acanthus-trees, on which chaplete made of their flowers, 
and pomegranate - blossoms entwined with vine -leaves, were 
placed. But this seems rather to indicate a local respect for 
the acanthus of Tindimn than any adoration generally paid to 
those trees by the 

Egyptians. Tl^-^ :=-^. 

The acanthus ■ was ^-^ -^ .. 

the wtii, or Mifootn 

IfHotiea, of modem 

Ep)-pt. Its flowen 

were firequently used 

fur chaplets ; and 

it* pod, which repro- 

•ented a letter in 

hieroglyphics, was, 

We find, sometimes 

placed among the 

offerings on the altars 

of the gods. There 

i» no evidence of its 

tkaring been sacred. 

The tamarisk was a holy tree, from having been chosen to 

orenhadow the sepulchre of Osiris, in commemoration of the 

Ikble of the chest containing his body having lodged in the 

liraiicbes of one of those trees on the coast of Byblus, where, 

diiTen ashore by the waves tA the sea, it was discovered by Isis.* 

TThe tree is represented in the sacred chamber dedicated to that 

god at Philn, and in a small sepulchre at How (Diuspolis 


> Pint. d« Ud. I. 88. 

■ AthiB. It. )ip. C79. SSO. 

■ It pTDbubly IbcIdiIcJ ethcn of th* 
Mimoia or Acula fcuu which fnw ia 

f I'iat. di bid. u. tS ud 31. 




httiKig., Fab. 

A •[«><■ of eutluru iB 








In the latter the bird Bennn is Beated in its branches, ac- 
companied by the name of Osiris, of whom it waa an emblem ; 
and in the fonner two 
priests are represented 
watering the tree, as it 
grows beneath a canopy. 
This confirms in a r^nark- 
able manner the account 
of PIntarch,' who, in de- 
scribing ' the tomb of 
Osiris at Fhike, crowned 
with flowers at the solem- 
nisation of hifl funeral ritea 
by the priests,' says, 'it 
is overshadowed by the 
branches of a tunarisk- 
tree, whose size exceeds 
that of an olive.' 
Of the lotns I have already spoken, as also of the papyrus 
and other plants of the coun^. The agrotiU, alladed to by 
Diodoros, was not related to the grass called tigroriU by modem 
botanists, bat seems rather to be a name applied to tiie lotos, 
which was so commonly held in the hands of gaests in the 
conTiTial meetings of the Egyptians. 

Proclus pretends that the lotos wss peculiarly typical of the 
son, ' which it appeared to honour by the expansion and con- 
traction of its leaves.' It was an emblem of Nefer-Atum, and 
introduced with the infant deity Ahi. 

' Garlic and onions,' according to Pliny,' ' were treated as 
gods by the Egyptians when taking an oath ;' and Juvenai ' 
derides them for their veneration of these garden-bom deities. 
Plutarch says, being held in abhorrence, the priests abstained 
from them * as onlawful food ; the reason of which was probably 
derived irom a sanitary precaution, as in the case of beans and 
' other hinds of pulse.' • But there is no direct evidence from 
the monuments of their having been sacred; and they were 
admitted as common offerings on every altar. Onions and 
other vegetables were not forbidden to the generality of the 
people, to whom they were a principal article of food: for. 

Chap. XIT.] EMBLEMS. 351 

whateyer leligious feeling prohibited their use on certain occa- 
sionSy this was confined to the initiated, who were required to 
keep themselves more especially pure for the senrice of the gods. 

The palm-branch I have shown to haye been adopted to 
represent a year, as Horapollo also states ; ^ and Clemens ^ con- 
siders it the symbol of astrology. Plutarch tells us ' the iyy 
was styled by the Egyptians Chenosiris ; that is, as some in- 
terpret it, ' the plant of Osiris ;' and Diodorus,^ after saying ' it 
was consecrated to that god, and called in the Egyptian tongue 
the plant of Osiris,' affirms that ' it was carried before the yine 
in consecrations, because, while this loses its leaves, the ivy 
continues to retain them.' Many instances occur of the pre- 
ference shown by the ancients for evergreen plants ; and for a 
similar reason they dedicated the myrtle to Venus, the laurel 
(bay-tree) to Apollo, and the olive to Minerva. 

But we may doubt if the ivy was at any time a native ' of 
Eg^t. The Periploea secamane may have been mistaken for 
that plant in the representations given of it in the paintings, 
both from its climbing nature and even the form of its leaves ; 
though it must be confessed that a plant having so acrid a juice 
oould scarcely have been used for garlands, if even it were 
tolerated in the hand. 

Plutarch mentions a garland of the melilotus,* which fell 
iiom the head of Osiris. This plant may therefore have been 
deemed sacred by the Egyptians. Clemens mentions thirty-six 
plants, dedicated to the thirty-six decans or genii, who presided 
over portions of the twelve signs of the zodiac f but the symbols 
of those mysterious beings had no claim to sanctity. 

The most remarkable emblems, independent of the types of 
the deities, were the signs of life, of goodness, of purity, of 
majesty and dominion (the flail and crook of Osiris), of royalty, 
of stability, and of power, which were principally connected 
with the gods and kings. 

Many others belonged to religious ceremonies, a long list 
o( which may be seen in the chamW of Osiris at Phil®, and in 
die Coronation Ceremony at Medeenet Haboo. 

The sign of life, tou, or crux amata,^ I have mentioned else- 
^teie. The sign of goodness is the initial of the word ne/er, 

\ S*"P^^*^,*- S. _, *^* ^^ ^f^^^ **^"» eommoD now in 

' Cl€iD«ni Alex. Strom. t\, UmIj.—Q W 1 

• Wat. d« Uid. i. 37. * Dlodor. i. 17. • Pint.' d« liid. s. 86. ThU ilrnlfied the 

\JhMX is to «ay, indigenoni. It may pUnU prodoood br the inundation nt the 

i^it^ i«tood«jed there. The iry of ed^ of the deeert. ' Prichwd. p. 329. 

tU Qneks nad BemMie it snppoeed to be • CnUed mx, perhnpe nn enrringf 



[Chap. XIV. 

* good/ a guitar ; and the sceptre with the head of a harrier^ uas 
or t'am^ which the gods hold in their hands, has been shown to 
enter into one of the groups signifying ' Thebes.' This has been 
styled the upupa-headed sceptre ; but I have shown the head to 

Hii^f^yy I 




1334 5678 9 10 11 

No. 690. Emblems of Life (1), Goodn«« (2, 3), Poritj (4), Bojalty (6-10). and 8laMli(j (11> 

be that of an animal, and not of a bird, as usuaUy supposed. The 
lower end is forked ; and this, as well as the head itself, has 
been found in the excavations at Thebes. A similar staff seems 
to have been used by the Egyptian peasant^ perhaps as a crook ; 
and the Arabs to the present day make their mahgin of this 
form, for the purpose of recovering the fedlen bridle of their 
dromedaries.^ It is even represented in the hands of labourers 
engaged in the corn-fields ; an instance of which occurs in one of 

the ancient paintings 
from Thebes preserved 
in the British Museum.' 
This, with the tau^ are 
^ * • * » the principal gifts of 

The gifts of, 1, life and parity; % with stabilitj; 3, power; xv j x 

4, victory ; and 6, royal mijesty, or dominion of the world. tnO gOQS tO maU^ lU 

^* ^^^' the hieroglyphic legends 

where the deity thus addresses the kings : * We give you life and 
purity,' or ' a pure life/ with * stability/ * power/ ' victory/ 
* majesty/ ' dominion/ ' and other good things/ similar to which are 
the favours said to be bestowed by the deity on King Bameses, 
in the inscription of the obelisk translated by Eermapion. 

The flagellum ^ and crook * of Osiris, the emblems of majesty 
and dominion, were presented by the gods to the king, sometimes 
with the falchion of victory or vengeance, when he was about to 
undertake an expedition against the enemies of his country ; and 
in some instances the monarch is represented holding the phcenix 
in his hand, emblematic of his long absence from Egypt in a 
foreign land. In the following woodcut we observe a singular 
proof of a flagellum of Osiris being really a handle and thong, 
and not, as it usually appears, both in the hands of statues and 
in the sculptures, with the two limbs of a hard substance.* 

* It is so called from hdgin, the name of • »»*X'X ^^ X'X* * ^< or oL 
a dromedary. * The whip of Osiris is three- thonged, or 

' In the Egyptian Room, marked Ko. 176. else repreienta a flaiL — S. B. 

The sign of royalty is a reed ; which is also the emblem of 

Upper Egypt, and the initial of the word tuien, 'king.' But 

this, and the pthent, ot cap 

of the Upper and Lower 

Country, which is the union 

of the two crowns, the Bymbol 

of stability, the palm-branch 

of Thoth, and the sign of 

the great assemblies over 

which the king presided, 

have been already noticed. 

The eye of Osiris — or sym- 
bolic eye, vta — was one of 

the most important emblems. 

It was generally given to 

that deity, and to Ptah when 

nnder the form of the em- 
blem of stability. It was I 

placed on boats (but origin- ' 

ally and properly only on 

the boats of the dead), on coffins, and in other conspicuous 

positioDS, as if to indicate the all-seeing presence of the dlTinity, 

and it was a symbol of the land of Egypt. 

The fix)g was the symbol of kefnu, 100,000, or an immense 

mimbei. It sat on a ring, or seal, a sign occasionally l( 
nsed in lieu of the iau, or ' life ;' and from its back rose U,-^ 
a palm-branch, which sometimes appeared in the state of (oA 
a tender leaf rising from the date-stone, ^3 

The lotas was introduced into all subjects, particularly n„. ita. 
« an ornament, and as the favourite flower of the country, 
W not with the holy character usually attributed to it, though 
■dopted as an emblem of the god Nefer-Atum. 



No nation took greater delight in the pomp of ceremonies tlian 
the Egyptians — a partiality which the priests did not fail to 
encourage, as it tended to increase their own consequence, and 
to give them a great moral ascendency over all classes. Grand 
processions constantly took place to commemorate some fanciful 
legendary event ; the public mind was entertained by the splen- 
dour of impressive and striking ceremonies; and a variety of 
exhibitions connected with religion were repeated, to amuse that 
lively and restless people. Respect for the priesthood was also 
induced by the importance of the post they held on those occa- 
sions ; and the superior abilities of that powerful body iiad ample 
means of establishing its authority over credulous and 8Uj>er- 
stitious minds. The priesthood took a prominent part in every- 
thing ; there was no ceremony in which they did not partici- 
pate, and even military regulations were subject to the influence 
of the sacerdotal caste. Nothing was beyond their jurisdiction: 
the king himself was anhject to the laws established by them for 
his conduct, and even for his mode of living ; and, independently 

IhB king ei''* 

U flpConfDp&ni 
.IniM lbs king i 



i by duty t« obey these unlinnnera, ho wns uliliirHl 
the tbnmc fc> bi-ccmir a mombfr of their tuxly. 
moBt im[H>rtHiit i>CT<Mnoiiu<s wita ' thi- pMccssioii of 
1 ii nw!iitionc<l on tlie Itoftfttu SloiU', niul it* fn^ 
imted on tlie walU of the tcin|>les. Tht> vhriiics 
ndfl ; the on<.> n mrt nf canoiiy, tlic other an urk or 
rhicb may Ih; tenneil thi> (irfut tihrine. This wa* 
rnuid pom)) )>y the pricHtH, h certuin nuinlier boinf; 
lat duty, who, mtpiHirtiii}; it on their ahimld<T!i by 
; itikTOH {Hissing; thMii^li int-tal riufrit at the lii'le of 
1 which it Ktiiod, bntti^ht it into the t('ni|)h', wht-ru 
opun a Htand or table, in ortb-r that the prvaenlit-d 
ght \m! {terformed IxTforc it. 

was also fitixied in the procfssioii by iinothtT set of 
ng the ghriiie by ine4tns of siinibir ftavea ; a method 
d for tran8[Kirting lur(;e Rtatues and aacred etnblemti, 
w im]Hirtant to W Iwirne by one person. The saino 
•▼e been thr; ciistum of thu Jews in some of their 
Mions,* as in earTyiii;r the ark ' to its pbice, into the 
OOK, to tlie most holy phtee,' when the teioiiU- was 

sr of shrines in these professions, and the splendour 
my performetl on the oecosion, depended on the 
ival tliey intendtt) to (.■oniineniorate. In many 
ihrine of the deity of the temple was rarriLtl abme, 
t of other deities aeiiinijutnied it, and sometimes 
inj; was addi-<l — a privile<;e ^nintei] as a {Hvuliar 
1 for some ffDitt iN-netit emiferret] by bini n|ii>H his 
r his pii'ty in havinji iN-antitied the tenipb-s of the 
ii the motive nientii<ni-il in the inseription of the 
; whieh, after enunieritlin;; the benelits ennferred 
ntry l>v I'toli'my, ibM-recH, an a n-tuni for tlieni. 
f of the kin;r sliall Im- erei-titl in every tenipb- in 
liouitns pluci': that it xhall )>• ealb-d the statue of 
lefender of K[ry]it : ami that ni^'ar it shall In- pltieml 
di'ity pn-rtt-ntin;; to him the weajNin of vielory. 
. the )irii-Hts fliali miuisK-r thnt- tiniex evrr^- day to 
id prepitn- for tlu-ni the wn-rcd dn-M!*, and |H-rfunn 

.|.:...'r>I.TU'.iad '»• n 


the accustomed ceremonies, as in honour of other gods at feasts 
and festivals : that there shall be erected an image and goldeii 
shrine of King Ptolemy in the most honourable of the temples, 
to be set up in the sanctuary among the other shrines : and that 
on the great festivals, when the procession of shrines takes place, 
that of the god Epiphanes shall accompany them ; ten royal 
golden crowns being deposited upon the shrine, with an asp 
attached to each, and the double crown, pshent, which he wore 
at his coronation, placed in the midst/ 

It was also usual to carry the statue of the principal deity in 
whose honour the procession took place, together with that of the 
king and the figures of his ancestors, borne in the same manner 
on men's shoulders, like the gods of Babylon mentioned by 

Diodorus ^ speaks of an Ethiopian festival of Jupiter, when 
his statue was carried in procession, probably to commemorate 
the supposed refuge. of the gods in that country: which may 
have been a memorial of the flight of the Egyptians with their 
gods at the time of the Shepherd invasion, mentioned by Jose- 
phus^ on the authority of Manetho. This does not, however, 
appear to be the reason assigned by Diodorus, who says, ' Homer 
derived from Egypt his story of the embraces of Jupiter and 
Juno, and their travelling into Ethiopia,* because the Egyptians 
every year carry Jupiter's shrine over the river into Africa, and 
a few days after bring it back again, as if the gods had returned 
out of Ethiopia. The fiction of their nuptials was taken from 
the solemnisation of these festivals ; at which time both their 
shrines, adorned with all sorts of flowers, are carried by the 
priests to the top of a mountain.' 

The usual number of priests who performed the duty of 
bearers was generally twelve or sixteen to each shrine. They 
were accompanied by another of a superior grade, distinguished 
by a lock of hair pendent on one side of his head, and clad i^ ^ 
leopard-skin, the peculiar badge of his rank, who, walking B^ 
them, gave directions respecting the procession, its positioX^^ 
the temple, and whatever else was required during the ceremcF^I ' 
which agrees well with the remark of Herodotus,* that *^^ 
deity had many priests, and one high priest.' Sometimes . 
priests of the same peculiar grade attended, both during 

> Epistle of Jeremiah in Baruch vi. 4, ' Joseph, contr. Ap. i. 27. 7: 

26. taiah xlvi. 7. • Diodor. i. 97. * Horn. 11. A, 423. • Herodot. iU 

Cbw. XV.] 



prooMnon, and after the sbrine had been deposited in the temple. 
Tbi-ae were the poiidfls, or highest order of priests : they had the 
title of ' Sem,' and enjoyed the privilege of offering sacrifices ou 
all grand occasions. 

When the shrine reached the temple, it was received with 
ererr demonstration of respect by the officiating priest, who was 
appointed to do dnty npoti the day of the festival ; and if the 
king happened to be there, it was his privilege to perform the 
appointed ceremonies. These consisted of sacrifices and prayers; 
and the shrine wiis decked with fresb-gathered flowers and rich 

gwUuds. An endless profusion of offerings was plarril tiefore it 
on several Be|>arate altan; and the hing, frequently accompanied 
by his qnoen, who held a sutmm in one hand, and in the other a 
boaqaet of flowera maile up into the partiridar form required for 
these religious ceremonies, presented incense and liluition. This 
part of the ceremony being finished, the king proceeded to the 
presence of the got], represented by his statne, from whom he 
was suppoBol to rt>ci-ive a blessing, typified by the sacred taUy 
the sifm of life. Sometimes the principal contemplar deity 
was aimi pnwnt, usually the second membi-r of the triad of 
the place; and it is probable that the posititm of the statue was 



[Chap. XV. 

near to the shrine alluded to in the inscription of the Boeetta 

Some of the sacred boats or arks contained the emblems of 
life and stability, which, when the yeil was drawn aside, were 
partially seen ; and others presented the sacred beetle of the 
sun, overshadowed by the wings of two figures of the goddess Ma 
or Truth, which call to mind the cherubim of the Jews.^ 

The dedication of the whole or part of a temple was, as may 
be reasonably supposed, one of the most remarkable solemnities 
at which it was * the prince's part ' to preside. And if the actual 
celebration of the rites practised on the occasion, the laying of 

No. 594. 

One of the Mcred boats or arin, with two fluureK resembUnff cberuMm. a and b 
represent the king ; th« former under the thKpt of a sphinx. 

the foundation stone, or other ceremonies connected with it, are 
not represented on the monuments,^ the importance attached to 
it is shown by the conspicuous manner in which it is recorded ^ 
the sculptures, the ostentation with which it is announced in th^ 
dedicatory inscriptions of the monuments themselyes, and ^^ 
answer returned by the god in whose honour it was erected. 

Another striking ceremony was the transport of the d^j^ 
catory offerings made by the king to the gods, which were canT^ 
in great pomp to their respective temples. The king and all 
priests attended the procession, clad in their robes of ceremo: 
and the flag-staffs attached to the propylsea of the vestibules wi 
decked, as on other grand festivals, with banners. 


' Clemens, Strom, t. p. 243, on the Ark in the king's hand on these occasions 

•f the Hebrews and the Adytum of the the same as those used in the chase of 

Egyptians. hippopotamus. 

* It is singular that the mace and rod 


cur. XT.] 



The coioDation of the king waa a peculiarly imposing cere- 
mony. It wu one of the principal subjecta represented in the 
eoart of the temples ;* and some idea may be formed of the pomp 
dijpUyed on the occasion even from the limited scale on which 
the monaments are capable of describing it. I have already 
mentioned the remarkable manner in which this subject is treated 
in the temple of Mefleenet Haboo, and therefore refer the reader 
to a previous jmrt of this work, where I have described the pro- 
oeHion given in Plate LX. 

Clemens introduces an account of an Egyptian procession, 

which, as it throws some light on similar ceremonies, and mar be 
of interest from having some jxiinta of resemblance with the one 
before us, I here transcribe. 

* In the solemn jiomps of Bgypt the singer usually goes first, 
bearing one of the symbols of music They say it is Iiii« duty to 
euiy two of the bonks of Hermes ; one of which contains hymns 
of the grMU, the other precepts relating to the life of the king. 
The singer is foUowHl by the boroscopiis, bearing in his liuud 
the measure of time, hour-gUss, and the palm-bmnch,* the 
•ymbols of anlrology, astnuiomy, whose duty it is to U- versed 
in or recite the four Uniks of Hermes, which treat of that wience. 

MiBMiBiuB n KamrMtum ai 


Of these one describes the position of the fixed stars, another the 
conjunctions, eclipses, and illuminations of the sun and moon, 
and the others their risings. Next comes the hierogrammateus, 
or sacred scribe, haying feathers ^ on his head, and in his hands 
a book, papyrus, with a ruler* (palette) in which is ink and a 
reed for writing. It is his duty to understand what are called 
hieroglyphics, the description of the world, geography, the 
course of the sun, moon, and planets, the condition of the land of 
Egypt and the Nile, the nature of the instruments or sacred 
ornaments, and the places appointed for them, as well as weights 
and measures, and the things used in holy rites. Then follows 
the stoKsteSy bearing the cubit of justice and the cup of libation. 
He knows all subjects relating to education, and the choice of 
calves for victims, which are comprehended in ten books. These 
treat of the honours paid to the gods and of the Egyptian reli- 
gion, including sacrifice, first-fruits, hymns, prayers, processions, 
holydays, and the like. Last of all comes the prophet, who car- 
ries in his bosom a water-jar, followed by persons bearing loaves 
of bread. He presides over all sacred things, and is obliged 
to know the contents of the ten books called sacerdotal, relating 
to the gods, the laws, and all the discipline of the priests.' ' 

One of the principal solemnities connected with the corona- 
tion was the anointing of the king, and his receiving the emblems 
of majesty from the gods. The sculptures represent deities 
themselves oflSciating on this as on other similar occasions, in 
order to convey to the Egyptian people, who beheld these records, 
a more exalted notion of the special favours bestowed on their 

We, however, who at this distant period are less interested in 
the direct intercourse between the Pharaohs and the gods, may 
be satisfied with a more simple interpretation of such subjects, 
and conclude that it was the priests who performed the cere- 
mony, and bestowed upon the prince the title of * the anointed 
of the gods.' 

With the Egyptians, as with the Jews,* the investiture to any 
sacred oflBce, as that of king or priest, was confirmed by this 
external sign ; and as the Jewish lawgiver mentions * the ceremony 

* The feathers are of the ostrich, not of * * Thou shalt take the garments, and 
the hawk, as already observed. put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of 

' The usual palette represented in the the ephod, and the ephod, and the breast- 
hands of scribes. plate, and gird him with the curious 
' Clemens Alex. Strom, yi. p. 196. girdle of the ephod ; and thou shalt put 

* Ezod. xxviii. 41. the mitn upon his head, and put the holj 


jf pouring oil upon the head of the high priest after he had put 
>ii his entire dress, with the mitre and crown, the Egyptians 
represent the anointing of their priests and kings after they 
irere attired in their full robes, with the cap and crown upon 
dieir head. Some of the sculptures introduce a priest pouring 
nl over the monarch,^ in the presence of Thoth, Har-Hut, or 
NFilos ; which may be considered a representation of the cere- 
mony before the statues of those gods. The functionary who 
jflBciated was the high priest of the king. He was clad in a 
leo{)ard-8kin, and was the same who attended on all occasions 
irhich required him to assist, or assume the duties of, the monarch 
in the temple. This leopard-skin dress was worn by the high 
priests on all the most important solemnities, and the king 
bimself adopted it when engaged in the same duties. 

They also anointed the statues of the gods ; ^ which was done 
irith the little finger of the right hand. 

The ceremony of pouring from two vases alternate emblems 
of life and purity over the king, in token of purification, previous 
to his admittance into the presence of the god of the temple, 
was performed by Thoth on one side and the hawk-headed Har- 
Hat on the other ; sometimes by Har-Hat and Nubti, or by two 
hawk-headed deities, or by one of these last and the god Nilus. 
The deities Nubti and Horus are also represented placing the 
crown of the Two Countries upon the head of the king, saying, 
* Put this cap upon your head like your father Amen-ra :' and 
the palm-branches they hold in their hands allude to the long 
series of years they grant him to rule over his country. The 
emblems of dominion and majesty, the crook and flagellum of 
Osiris, have been already given him, and the asp-formed fillet is 
bonnd upon his head. 

Another mode of investing the sovereign with the diadem is 
figured on the apex of some obelisks, and on other monuments, 
where the god in whose honour they were raised puts the crown 
upon his head as he kneels before him, with the announcement 
that he ^ grants him dominion over the whole world.' ^ Goddesses 
in like manner placed upon the heads of the queens the peculiar 

crown upon the mitre. Then shalt thoa li. p. 63.) — S. B. 

take the anointing oil, and ponr it upon his ' Obelisk of Karnak and othen, and the 

(Exod. xxix. 5-7.) translation of Hermapion, in Ammian. 

1 8 Kings ix. 3. Marcellin. xWi. s. 4, p. 108, ed. OronoT.: 

* The king was anointed : Amenophis II. MAprtfuii aoi iufd wdaup olxcvfUrriw /urd 

m anointed king. (* Records of the Past,' x^' fia^iXtvuv, 


insignia they wore ; which were two long feathers, with the globe 
and horns of Athor ; and they presented them 
their peculiar sceptre. 

The custom of anointing was not confined 
to the appointment of kings and priests to the 
sacred offices they held : it was the ordinary 
token of welcome to guests in every party at 
the house of a friend ; and in Egypt, no less 
than in Judaea, the metaphorical expression, n©. ^u. ^ **"**^ 
* anointed with the oil of gladness,' was fully 
understood, and applied to the ordinary occurrences of life. 
It was not confined to the liying : the dead were made to par- 
ticipate in it, as if sensible of the token of esteem thus bestowed 
upon them ; and a grateful suryivor, in giving an affectionate 
token of gratitude to a regretted friend, neglected not this 
last unction of his mortal remains. Even the head of the 
bandaged mummy, and the case which contained it, were 
anointed with oils and the most precious ointments. 

Another ceremony represented in the temples was the blessing 
bestowed by the gods on the king, at the moment of his assuming 
the reins of government. They laid their hands upon him ; and 
presenting him with the symbol of life, they promised that his 
reign should be long and glorious, and that he should enjoy 
tranquillity, with certain victory over his 
enemies. If about to undertake an expe- 
dition against foreign nations, they gave 
him the fedchion of victory, to secure the 
defeat of the people whose country he was 
about to invade, saying, ^ Take this weapon, 
and smite with it the heads of the impure 

To show the special favour he enjoyed ^ 

from heaven, the gods were even repre- Tfta.orsignofiife. 

sented admittmg him mto their company, 
and communing with him; and sometimes Thoth, with other 
deitieSt taking him by the hand, led him into the presence of the 
great tiiad, or of the presiding divinity, of the temple. He was 
welcomed with suitable expressions of approbation ; and on this, 
as on other occasions, the sacred tau, or sign of life, was presented 
to him — a symbol which, with the sceptre of purity, was usually 
placed in the hands of the gods. These two were deemed the 
greatest gifts bestowed by the deity on man. 


The origin of the tau I cannot precisely detennine ; nor is it 
more intelligible when given in the sculptures on a large scale. 
A remarkable fact may be mentioned respecting this hienn 
glyphic character — that the early Christians of Egypt adopted 
it in lieu of the cross, which was afterwards substituted for 
it, prefixing it to inscriptions in the same manner as the cross 
in later times* 

The triumph of the king was a grand solemnity. Flattering 
to the national pride of the Egyptians, it awakened those feelings 
of enthusiasm which the celebration of yictory naturally inspires, 
and led them to commemorate it with the greatest pomp. When 
the victorious monarch, returning to Egypt after a glorioos 
campaign, approached the cities which lay on his way from the 
confines of the country to the capital, tiie inhabitants flocked to 
meet him, and with welcome acclamations greeted his arrival and 
the success of his arms. The priests and chief people of each 
place advanced with garlands and bouquets of flowers; the 
principal person present addressed him in an appropriate speech; 
and as the troops defiled through the streets, or passed without 
the walls, the people followed with acclamations, uttering earnest 
thanksgivings to the gods, the protectors of Egypt, and praying 
them for ever to continue the same marks of favour to theiJ 
monarch and their nation. 

Arrived at the capital, they went immediately to the temple^ 
where they returned thanks to the gods, and performed th^ 
customary sacrifices on this important occasion. The whole army 
attended, and the order of march continued the same as on 
entering the city. A corps of Egyptians, consisting of chariots 
and infantry, led the van in close column, followed by the allies 
of the different nations who had shared the dangers of the field 
and the honour of victory. In the centre marched the body- 
guards, the king's sons, the military scribes, the royal arm- 
bearers, and the staff corps, in the midst of whom was the monarch 
himself, mounted in a splendid car, attended by his fan-bearers 
on foot, bearing over him the state flabella. Next followed other 
regiments of infantry, with their respective banners, and the rear 
was closed by a body of chariots. The prisoners, tied together 
with ropes, were conducted by some of the king's sons, or by the 
chief officers of the staff, at the side of the royal car. The king 
himself frequently held the cord which bound them, as he drove 
slowly in the procession ; and two or more chiefs were sometimes 
suspended beneath the axle of his chariot, contrary to the usual 

Our. XV.] TRIUMPHa 885 

humane principles of the Egyptians, who seem to have refraine^l 
from unnecessary cruelty to their captives, extending this feeling 
■o far as to rescue, even in the heat of battle, a defenceless enemy 
firam a watery grave. 

Having reache<I the precincts of the temple, the guards and 
loyal attendants selected to be the representatives of the whole 
army entered the courts, the rest of the troops, too numerous for 
admission, iNfiug drawn up before the entrance; and the king, 
alighting from his car, pri^i>are<l to lead his captives to the shrine 
of the god. Military bands played the favourite airs of the 
eoontry ; and the numerous standards of the diftbrent regiments, 
the banners floating in the wind, the bright lustru of arms, the 
immense concourse of |>eople, and the im|x)sing majesty of the 
lofty towers of the propyla;a, decked with their bright-coloured 
flags streaming above the cornice, presented a scene seldom, we 
may say, equalled on any occasion in any country. But tlio most 
■triking feature of this pompous ceremony was the brilliant 
mrUjfe of the monarch, who was either borne in his chair of 
state by the principal officers of state under a ri<*h canopy, or 
wmlketl on foot, overshadowed with rich flalx;lla and fans of 
waring plumes. As he approached the inner pylon, a long 
proct.'ssion of priests advanced to meet him, dressed in their 
lobes of office ; censers full of incense were burnt before him ; 
and ahierogrammateus read from a papyrus roll the gK>rious dee<ls 
of the victorious monarch, and the tokens he had received of tht* 
divine favour. They then accompanied him into the presence of 
the presiding deity of the place ; and having |>erformed sacrifice 
and offereil suitable thanksgivings, he dedicat<Hi the s|K)il of tht^ 
conquered enemy, and expressed his gratitude for the privilege 
of laying b«?fore the fwit of the god, the giver of victory, those 
priaoners he had brought to the vestibule of the divine aUnle.^ 

In the meantime, the troojw without the saen^il priHMnetM 
were summone<l, by s<mnd of trum|>ot, Uy attend the saerifiee 
prepared by the priests, in the name of the whole army, fur the 
benefits they had rts*eive(| from the gods, the bucc(?8s of their 
amiii, and their own preservation in the hour of danger. Ka<;h 
regiment nuin^hiHl up by turn to the altar t4*ni|)orariIy rais<.Hl for 
the occasion, to tht^ 84mnd of the drum,* tlie (utldiers carrying in 
their hand a twig of olive,' with the arms of their resjiective 

* The iB)>ur« furcixnen wtn sot uk«B nitUd. ' C1«b. I*»la|c. li. 4. 

iMo tb« iotfrmr of th« tempU, to which * Or of the bajr-trrc. ThU mmy bo on 

tht kiA( Mad tkt pricou vtrt duM ad- UlwinUott of tht roourk of CImmbb 


corps ; but the heavy-armed soldier laid aside his shield on this 
occasion, as if to show the security he enjoyed in the preseBce of 
the deity. An ox was then killed, and wine, incense, and the 
customary offerings of cakes, fruit, vegetables, joints of meat, and 
binls, were presented to the god they invoked. Every soldier 
deposited the twig of olive he carried at the altar ; and as the 
trumpet summoned them, so also it gave the signal for each 
regiment to withdraw and cede its place to another. The cere- 
mony being over, the king went in state to his palace, accom- 
panied by the troops ; and having distributed rewards to them, 
and eulogised their conduct in the field, he gave his orders to the 
commanders of the different corps, and they withdrew to theii 
cantonments, or to the duties to which they were appointed. 

Of the fixed festivals, one of the most 
remarkable was the celebration of the 
grand assemblies, or panegyries, held in 
the great halls of the principal temples, 
at which the king presided in person. Of 
their precise nature, and of the periods 
when they were held, we are still ignorant ; 
but that they were of the greatest import- 
ance is abundantly proved by the frequent 
mention of them in the sculptures. And 
that the post of president of the asBem- 
X MirflLTwpftu. blies was the highest possible honour maj 
^^ ^*^' be inferred, as well from its being enjoyed 

by the sovereign alone of all men, as from its being assigned to 
the deity himself in these legends: 'Phrah (Pharaoh), lord of 
the panegyrics, like Ra,' or 'like his father Ptah,'^ which to 
frequently occur on the monuments of Thebes and Memphis. 

From these assemblies being connected with the palm- 
branch, the emblem of a year, and frequently attached to it 
when in the hands of the god Thoth, we may conclude that their 
celebration was fixed to certain periods of the year; and the 
title 'Lord of Triacontaeterides, like the great Ptah,' applied 
to Ptolemy Epiphanes in the Bosetta Stone, is doubtless related 
to these meetings, which, from the Greek word, some suppose to 
have taken place every thirty years. But this period is evi- 
dently too long, since few sovereigns could have enjoyed the 

(Strom. T. p. 243), that * twigs wers giTen to thoM who came to worship^' He mts* 
tiona in tkt mbm plaoo * the wheel turned in the aecred grorea.' 
> See woodcnt No. 598, /^t. 1 and 2. 




honour. It more probably refers to the festivals of the new 
moons/ or to those recorded in the great calendar sculptured on 
the exterior of the S.W. wall of Medeenet Haboo, which took 
place during seyeral successiye days of each month, and were 
even repeated in honour of different deities every day during 
some months, and attended by the king in person. 

Another important religious ceremony is often alluded to in 
the sculptures, which appears to be connected with the as- 
semblies just mentioned. In this the king is represented 
running, with a vase or some emblem in one hand, and the 
flagellum of Osiris, a type of majesty, in the other, as if hasten- 
ing to enter the hall where the panegyrics were held ; and two 
figures of him are frequently introduced, one crowned with the 
cap of the Upper, the other with that of the Lower Country, as 
they stand beneath a canopy indicative of the hall of assembly. 
The same deities who usually preside on the anointing of the 
king present him with the sign of life, and bear before him the 
palm-branch, on which the years of the assemblies are noted. 
Before him stands the goddess Mert, bearing on her head the 
water-plants, her emblem; and around are numerous emblems 
appropriated to this subject. The monarch sometimes runs into 
the presence of the god bearing two vases, which appears to be 
the commencement of, or connected with, this ceremony ; and 
the whole may be the anniversary of the foundation of the 
temple, or of the sovereign's reign. An ox or cow is in some 
instances represented running with the king on the same 

The birthdays of the kings were celebrated* with great pomp. 
They were looked upon as holy: no business was done upon 
them, and all classes indulged in the festivities' suitable to the 
occasion. Every Egyptian attached much importance to the 
day and even to the hour of his birth ; and it is probable that, 
as in Persia,^ each individual kept his birthday with great 
rejoicings, welcoming his friends with all the amusements of 
society, and a more than usual profusion of the delicacies of 
the table. 

They had many other public holydays, when the court of the 
king and all public ofBces were closed. This was sometimes 

* Isaiah i. 13, 14 : ' The neuf moom and pointed feasts my soul hateth.' 

tabbaths, the calling of aaaembliea, I cannot ' Rosetta Stone, 

awaj with ; it is iniquity, eren the solemn * Qen, zl. 20. * Herodot. L 133, 
meeting. Tour new moons and your ap- 


owing to a superstitions belief of their being unlucky ; and such 
was the prejudice against the ' third day of the Epaet/ or the 
birthday of Typho, that the sovereign neither transacted any 
business upon it, nor even suffered himself to take any refresh- 
ment till the evening.'^ Other fasts were also observed by the 
king and the priesthood, out of respect to certain solemn puri- 
fications they deemed it their duty to undergo for the service 
of religion. 

Among the ordinary rites the most noted, because the most 
frequent, were the daily sacrifices offered in the temple by the 
sovereign pontiff. It was customary for him to attend there 
early every morning, after he had examined and settled his 
epistolary correspondence relative to the affairs of state. The 
service began by the high priest reading a prayer for the welfare 
of the monarch, in the presence of the people. He extolled his 
virtues, his piety towards the gods, and his clemency and affable 
demeanour towards men, and he then proceeded to pass in review 
the general conduct of kings, and to point out those virtues 
which most adorn, as well as the vices which most degrade, the 
character of a monarch. But I need not enter into the details of 
this ceremony, having already noticed it in treating of the duties 
of the Egyptian Pharaohs. 

Of the anniversary festivals one of the most remarkable was 

the Niloa, or invocation of the blessings of the inundation, offered 

to the tutelary deity of the Nile. According to Heliodorus,' it 

was one of the principal festivals of the Egyptians. It took 

place about the summer solstice, when the river began to rise ; 

and the anxiety with which they looked forward to a plentiful 

inundation induced them to celebrate it with more than usual 

konour. Libanius asserts that these rites were deemed of so 

tnnch importance by the Egyptians, that unless they were 

performed at the proper season, and in a becoming manner, by 

the persons appointed to this duty, they felt persuaded that the 

^ile would refase to rise and inundate the land. Their full 

Ikelief in the efficacy of the ceremony secured its annual per- 

fiormance on a grand scale. Men and women assembled from all 

JiQurts of the country in the towns of their respective nomes, grand 

jfiestivities were proclaimed, and all the enjoyments of the table 

ere united with the solemnity of a holy festival. Music, the 

^ The five daji added at the end of Mesor^. ' Plat, de Isid. s. 11. 

* Heliodor. JEthiopic. lib. zi. 

VOL. m. 2 b 


(lance, and appropriate hymns marked the respect they felt for 
the deity; and a wooden statue of the river god was carried 
by the priests through the villages in solemn procession, that 
all might appear to be honoured by his presence and aid, wliile 
invoking the blessings he was about to confer. 

Another festival, particularly welcomed by the Egyptian 
peasants, and looked upon as a day of great rejoicing, was (if it 
may so be called) the harvest home, or the close of the labouis of 
the year, and the preparation of the land for its future crops by 
the inundation; idien, as Diodorus tells us, the husbandmen 
indulged in recreation of every kind, and showed their gratitude 
for the benefits the deity had conferred upon them by the ble»- 
ings of the inundation. This and other festivals of the peasantry 
I .have already noticed in treating of the agriculture of Egypt 

Games were celebrated in honour of certain gods, in whidi 
wrestling and other gymnastic exerciseis were practised. ' Bnt of 
all their games,' says Herodotus,^ ' the most distinguished are 
those held at Chemmis in honour of Perseus ; in which the rewards 
for the conquerors are cattle, cloaks, and skins.' The form 
attributes of this Perseus I have been unable to discover; 
unfortunately the imperfect remains at Chemmis afford no accurate 
information respecting the deities of the place. It is, however, 
probable that he was not the only god in whose honour gym- 
nastic exercises were performed ; and the fondness of the 
Egyptians for such amusements is fully proved by the monQ- 
ments they have left us, on which wrestling and other games 
are portrayed with great minuteness. Wrestling, indeed, wtf 
a very favourite amusement in Egypt. Hercules was there re- 
ported to have overcome Antaeus by wrestling ; and it is higblj 
probable that games similar to those mentioned by Herodotos 
were celebrated in the nome of Heracleopolis, as well as '^ 
honour of other Egyptian gods. 

The investiture of a chief was a ceremony of considerablo 
importance, when the post conferred was connected with any 
high dignity about the person of the monarch, in the army) ^^ 
the priesthood. It took place in the presence of the sovereign 
seated on his throne; and two priests, having arrayed the 
candidate in a long loose vesture, placed necklaces round tb6 
neck of the person thus honoured by the royal favour. Onerf 
these ceremonies frequently occurs in the monuments, which ^ 

> Herodot. ii. 01. 


sometimes performed immediately after a victory ; in which case 
we may conclude that the honour was granted in return for 
distinguished services in the field ; and as the individual on all 
occasions holds the flabellay crook, and other insignia of the 
office of fieai-bearery it appears to have been either the appoint- 
ment to that post, or to some high commfiuid in the army. On 
receiving this honourable distinction, he held forth his hands in 
token of respect ; and raising the emblems of his newly-acquired 
office above his head, he expressed his fidelity to his king, Bud 
his desire to prove himself worthy of the favour he had received. 
A similar mode of investiture appears to have been adopted 
in all appointments to the high offices of state, both of a civil 
and military kind. In this, as in many customs detailed in the 
sculptures, we find an interesting illustration of a ceremony 
mentioned in the Bible, which describes Pharaoh taking a ring 
from his hand and putting it on Joseph's hand, arraying him in 
vestures of fine linen, and putting a gold chain about his neck.^ 

In a tomb opened at Thebes by Hoskins, another instance 
oiocurs of this investiture to the post of fan-bearer, in which the 
two attendants or inferior priests are engaged in clothing him 
with the robes of his new office. One puts on the necklace, the 
other arranges his dress, a fillet being already bound round his 
head, and he appears to wear ghvea upon his uplifted hands. In 
the next part of the same picture — for, as is often the case, it 
presents two actions and two periods of time — the individual, 
holding the insignia of fan-bearer and followed by the two 
priests, presents himself before the king, who holds forth his 
hand to him to touch,' or perhaps to kiss. A stand bearing 
necklaces is placed before him, and by his side a table, upon 
which is a bag, probably the treasure for paying the troops, and 
behind are the officers of his household bearing the emblems of 
their office. 

The office of fan-bearer to the king was a highly honourable 
post, which none but the royal princes, or the sons of the first 
nobility, were permitted to hold. These constituted a principal 
part of his staff, and in the field they either attended on the 
monarch to receive his orders, or were despatched to take the 
command of a division; some having the rank of generals of 
cavalry, others of heavy infantry or archers, according to t^e 

I Gen. xli. 42. the hand of one to whom he woaI<l show 

' In the East an inferior merelj touches great respect, and then kisses his own. 

2 B 2 


service to which they belonged. They had the privilege of pre- 
senting the prisoners to the king, after the victory had been 
gained, announcing at the same time the amount of the enemy's 
slain, and the booty that had been taken ; and those whose turn 
it was to attend upon the king's person as soon as the enemy had 
been vanquished resigned their command to the next in rank, 
and returned to their post of fan-bearers. The office was divided 
into two grades — those who served on the right and left hand 
of the king, the most honourable post being given to those of 
the highest rank, or to those most esteemed for their services. 
A certain number were always on duty, and they were required 
to attend during the grand solemnities of the temple, and on 
every occasion when the monarch went out in state, or transacted 
public business at home. 

At Medeenet Haboo is a remarkable instance of the ceremony 
of carrying the sacred boat of Ptah-Socharis-Osiris, which I 
conjecture to represent the funeral of Osiris. It is frequently 
introduced in the sculptures ; and in one of the tombs of Thebes 
this solemnity occurs, which, though on a smaller scale than on 
the walls of Medeenet Haboo, oiSers some interesting pecu- 
liarities. First comes the boat, carried as usual by several 
priests, superintended by the pontiiBT clad in a leopard-skin; 
after which two hieraphori, each bearing a long staff surmounted 
by a hawk ; then a man beating the tambourine, behind whom is 
a flower with the stalk bound round with ivy (or the periploca, 
which so much resembles it). These are followed by two 
hieraphoriy carrying each a staff with a jackal on the top, and 
another bearing a flower, behind whom is a priest turning round 
to offer incense to the emblem of Nefer-Atum. The latter is 
placed horizontally upon six columns, between each of which 
stands a human figure with uplifted arms, either in the act of 
adoration or aiding to support the sacred emblem, and behind 
it is an image of the king kneeling, the whole borne on the 
tisual staves by several priests, attended by a pontiff in his 
leopard-skin dress. In this ceremony, as in some of the tales 
related of Osiris, we may trace those analogies which led the 
Greeks to suggest the resemblance between that deity and their 
Bacchus ; as the tambourine, the ivy-bound flower or thyrsus, 
and the leopard-skin, recall the leopards which drew his car. 
The spotted skin of the nebris or fawn may also be traced in 
the leopard-skin suspended near Osiris in the region of 


At Medeenet Haboo the procession is on a more splendid 
scale: the ark of Socharis is borne by sixteen priests, accom- 
panied by two pontiffs, one clad in the usual leopard-skin, and 
Barneses himself officiates on the occasion. The king also per- 
forms the singular ceremony of holding a rope at its centre, the 
two ends being supported by four priests, eight of his sons, and 
four other chiefs, before whom two priests turn round to offer 
incense, while a hierogrammateus reads the contents of a papyrus 
he holds in his hands. These are preceded by one of the Aiero- 
fkori bearing the hawk on a staff decked with banners (the 
standard of the king or of Horns), and by the emblem of 
Nefer-Atum, borne by eighteen priests, the figures standing 
between the columns over which it is laid being of kings, and 
the columns themseWes being surmounted by the heads of 
hawks. Another peculiarity is observable in this procession, 
that the ark of Socharis follows, instead of preceding, the em- 
blem of Nefer-Atum, and the hawks are crowned with the 
ftkeni or double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, usually 
worn by the Pharaohs and by the god Horns, the prototy{>e 
of loyalty. 

In the same ceremony at Medeenet Haboo it appears that 
the king, when holding the rope, has the cubit in his hand, 
and, when following the ark, the cup of libation ; which calls to 
mind the office of the ddisiei mentioned by Clemens, 'having 
in his hand the cubit of justice and the cup of libation ; ' and 
he^ in like manner, was preceded by the sacred scribe. 

The mode of carrying the sacred arks on ))oles borne by 
priests or by the nobles of the land was extended to the statues 
of the gods and other sacred objects belonging to the temples.' 
The former, as Macrobius states,' were frequently placed in a 
Giae or canopy ; and the same writer is correct in stating that 
the chief people of the nome assisted in this service, even the 
•ODS of the king being proud of so honourable an employment 
What he afterwards says of their ' being carried forward accord- 
ing to divine inspiration, whithersoever the deity urges tliem, 
and not by their own will,' cannot fail to call to mind the sup- 
posed dictation of a secret influence, by which the bearers of the 
dead in the funeral processions of modem Egypt pretend to l)e 
actnated. To such an extent do they carry this superstitious 

* It Appeart from sodm inscHptioiit that Ih* ark wm c«rritd ruuod tht wallt. — S. R. 

* Macrob. Sstara. i. dO. 


belief of their ancestors, that I have seen them in their solemn 
march suddenly stop, and then run violently through the streets, 
at the risk of throwing the body off the bier, pretending that 
they were obliged by the irresistible will of the deceased to 
visit a certain mosque, or seek the blessing of a particular saint. 

Few other processions of any great importance are repre- 
sented in the sculptures ; nor can it be expected that the monu- 
ments would give more than a small proportion of the numerous 
festivals or ceremonies which took place in the country. 

[At Denderah the following scenes are represented : — 1. The 
king gives the goddess Athor a heart-shaped urn, the goddess 
confers happiness and joy ; 2. He then gives two sistra, Athor and 
Horus permits him to govern Egypt and conquer foreigners, and 
to be beloved of women ; 3. The king gives incense and water to 
Osiris and Isis, the gods give an inimdation and Arabia ; 4. The 
king gives two vases of wine, the gods give vineyards ; 5. The 
king brings flowers, the goddess promises verdure ; 6. The king 
gives fields, the gods com ; 7. The king and queen give sistra, 
the gods the love of his subjects ; 8. The king gives a variety of 
objects, the gods produce. It will be seen that the gifts had 
reference to the things required.^ Before penetrating into the 
adytum he appears to have entered the temple with his sandals 
off, preceded by five banners, and then to have been purified to 
receive the two crowns and to enter the presence of the gods. 
Before the first stone of the temple was laid, he traced the area 
with a furrow, made with his own hands the first brick of the 
peribolos wall, and on the opening or completion of the temple 
decapitated a bird. — S. B.] 

Many of the religious festivals were indicative of some 
peculiar attribute or supposed property of the deity in whose 
honour they were celebrated. One, mentioned by Herodotus,' 
was emblematic of the generative principle, and the same that 
appears to be alluded to by Plutarch' under the name of 
Paamylia, which he says bore a resemblance to one of the Greek 
ceremonies. The assertion, however, of these writers, that such 
figures belonged to Osiris, is contradicted by the sculptures, 
which show them to have been emblematic of the god Khem, or 
Pan ; and this is confirmed by another observation of the latter 
writer, that the leaf of the fig-tree represented the deity of that 

1 Mariette, * The Monnmenti of Upper Egypt,' London, 1877, p. 35 and folL 
« Herodot. ii. 48. » Pint, de laid. a. 11. 


fefCiTml, M well as the land of Egypt.^ The tree docs indeed 
lepresent Egypt, and al¥ray8 occurs on the altar of Khem ; but 
it is not in any way connected with Osiris, and the statues 
mentioned by Plutarch' evidently refer to the Egyptian Pan. 

According to Herodotus,' the only two festivals in which it 
was lawful to sacrifice pigs were those of the moon and Bacchus, 
or Osiris: the object of wliich restriction he attributes to a 
•acred reason, which he does not think it right to mention. ' In 
•acrificing a pig to the moon, they killed it, and when they had 
pat together the end of the tail, the spleen, and the caul, and 
covered them with all the fat from the inside of the animal, they 
burnt them, the rest of the victim being eaten on the day of 
the full moon, which was the same on which the sacrifice was 
offered, for on no other day were they allowed to eat the flesh of 
the pig. P(x>r people who had barely the means of subsistence 
made a paste figure of a pig, which, being baked, they offered as 
a sacrifice.' The same kind of substitute was doubtless made 
Ibr other victims by those who could not afford to purchase 
them ; and some of the small clay figures of animals found in 
the tombs have probably served for this pur|)oso. ' On the 
fite of Bacchus every one immolated a pig before the door of 
his house at the hour of dinner ; he then gave it back to the 
person of whom it had been bought.* ' The Egyptians,' adds 
the historian, 'celebrate the rest of this fete nearly in the 
•ame manner as the Greeks, with the exception of the sacrifice 
of pigs.' 

The procession on this occasion was headed, as usual, by 
mvsic,^ a flute-player, according to Herodotus, leading the van ; 
and the first sacred emblem they carried was a Aydna, or water- 
pitcher.* A festival was also held on the 17th of Athor and 
three succeeding days, in honour of Osiris, during which they 
exposed to view a gilded ox, the emblem of that deity, and 
Mmmemorat<'<l what they called the Io$8 of Chins. Amttht^r 
followed in hcmour of the same deitv after an interval of six 
months or 179 days, ' upon the 19th of Pachons,* when they 
marched in procession towards the sea-side, whither likewise 
the priests and other proper officers carrie<l the sai^nnl chest, 
eoclosing a small boat or vessel of gi>ld, into which they first 

* Plat. a« Iftid. t. 36. AccortHof to the ' livrndot. ii. 48. 

UUr«l trABAlaUoB, it it *bjr tka Ag-lmt * i'lcm. Stn>ni. w. p, IVC. and the 

%k»f d«>crib« tbvir kisf aad th« aoatk aculf^um. 

cUaat« of tb« world.' • IMut. dc Nid. •. :k>. * Ibi). %, .ii». 

• IbkL M. 36 tad 51. 


poured some fresh water, and then all present cried ont with a 
loud voice, " Osiris is found." This ceremony being ended, they 
threw a little fresh mould, together with rich odours and spices, 
into the water, mixing the whole mass together, and working it 
up into a little image in the shape of a crescent. The image 
was afterwards dressed and adorned with a proper habit, and 
the whole was intended to intimate that they looked upon these 
gods as the essence and power of earth and water.' 

Another festival in honour of Osiris was held ' on the new 
moon of the month Phamenoth,^ which fell in the beginning of 
^pring,^ called the entrance of Osiris into the moon;' and on 
the 11th of Tybi (or the beginning of January') was celebrated 
the fete of Isis' return from Phoenicia, when cakes having a 
hippopotamus bound stamped upon them were offered in her 
honour to commemorate the victory over Typho. A certain 
rite was also performed in connection with the fabulous history 
of Osiris, in which it was customary to throw a cord in the midst 
of the assembly,^ and then chop it into pieces; the supposed 
purport of which was to record the desertion of Thoueris, the 
concubine of Typho, and her delivery firom a serpent, which the 
soldiers killed with their swords as it pursued her in her flight 
to join the army of Horus. 

Among the ceremonies connected with Osiris the fete of 
Apis holds a conspicuous place : but this I have already 
noticed, as well as the grand solemnities performed at his 

Clemens^ mentions the custom of carrying four golden figures, 
or standards, in the festivals of the gods. They were two dogs, 
a hawk, and an ibis ; which, like the number fir^^ had a mys- 
tical meaning. The dogs represented the two hemispheres^ the 
hawk the sun, and the ibis the moon; but he does not state 
if this was usual at all festivals, or confined to those in honour 
of particular deities. 

Many fetes were held at different seasons of the year ; for, as 
Herodotus observes,* ' far from being contented with one festival, 
the Egyptians celebrate annually a very great number, of which 
that of Diana, Bast,^ kept at the city of Bubastis, holds the 

* Phamenoth began on Feb. 25 (O. 8.). ^ Plat, de hid. s. 19. 

' Plut. de Isid. s. 48. Macrobiiu and * Clem. Strom, v. p. 242. 

others aay that the Egyptian iiStes in spring * Herodot. ii. ^ ei m^., 82. 

were all of rejoicing. ' Bubastis or Bast corresponded to the 

* Jan. 6th (o. 8.). Greek Diana. 


fint nnky and is performed with the greatest pomp. Next to it 
is that of Isisy at Busiris, a city situated in tb(^ middle of the 
Delta, with a very large temple consecrated to that goddess, the 
Ceres of the Greeks. The third in importance is the fete of 
Minerva (Neith), held at Sais; the fourth, of the sun at Helio- 
polis ; the fifth, of Latona in the city of Buto ; and the sixth is 
that performed at Papremis in honour of Mars.' 

In going to celebrate the festival of Diana at Bubastis it was 
cnstoumry to repair thither by water ; and parti<*s of men and 
women were crowded together on that occasion in numerous 
boats, without distinction of age or sex. During the whole of 
the journey several women played on croiala, and some men on 
the flute ; others accompanying them with the voice and the 
clapping of hands, as was usual at musical parties in Egypt. 
Whenever they approached a town the boats were brought near 
to it, and, while the singing continued, some of th(» women in 
the most abusive manner scoffed at those on the shore as they 
paawd by them. [The fete of the Kikellia, an unknown festival, 
it mentioned in the tablet of Canopus. — S. B.] 

Arrived at Bubastis, they performed the rites of the festival 
by the sacrifice of a great number of victims ; and the quantity 
of wine consumed on the occasion was said to be more than 
during all the rest of the year. The number of persons present 
was reckoned by the inhabitants of the place to be 700,000, with- 
out including children ; and it is probable that the appearance 
pteaented by this concourse of people, the scenes which occurred, 
and the picturesque g^ups they presented, wore not altogether 
unlike those witnt.'ssed at the modem fetos of Tanta and Dessook 
in the Delta, in honour of the Sayd el Beddawce and Sheikh 
Ibfmhim e' DessookcM). 

The number stated by the historian is beyond all probability, 
nolwithstan<ling the population of ancient Egypt, and cannot 
fail to call to mind the 70,000 pilgrims reported by tho Moslems 
to be annually present at Mekkeh. The mode adoptinl (as they 
believe) for k(*<*ping up that exact numbtT is very ingenious, 
every deficiency being supplied by a mysterious complement of 
angels, who obligingly present themselves fur the purpose ; and 
some contrivance of the kind may have suggesttnl itself to the 
anoient Egyptians at the festival of Bubastis. 

The fete of Isis was performed with grt*at magnificence. The 
votaries of the goddess prepared themselves U>fon*hand by fast- 
ing and prayers, after which they proceeded to sacrifice an ox* 


When slain, the thighs Bud upper part of the ^hannches, the 
shoulders, fiuid neck were cut off, and the body was filled with 
unleavened cakes of pure flour, with honey, dried raisins, figs, 
incense, myrrh, and other odorifie substances. It was then burnt, 
and a quantity of oil was poured on the fire during the process. 
In the meantime those present scourged themselves in honour 
of Osiris, uttering lamentations^ around the burnt oJBTeiing ; and 
this part of the ceremony being concluded, they partook of the 
remains of the sacrifice. 

This festival was celebrated at Busiris to commemorate the 
death of Osiris, who was reported to have been buried there in 
common with other places, and whose tomb gave the name to the 
city. It was probably on this occasion that the branch of absin- 
thium, mentioned by Pliny,* was carried by the priests of Isis ; 
and dogs were made to head the procession, to commemorate the 
recovery of his body. 

Another festival of Isis was held at harvest time, when the 
Egyptians throughout the country offered the first-fruits of the 
earth, and with doleful lamentations presented them at her altar. 
On this occasion she seems to answer to the Ceres of the Greeks, 
as has been observed by Herodotus;^ and the multiplicity of 
names she bore may account for the different capacities in which 
she was worshipped, and remove the difficulty any change appears 
to present in the wife and sister of Osiris. One similarity is 
observable between this last and the fete celebrated at Busiris — 
that the votaries presented their offerings in the guise of 
mourners;* and the first-fruits had probably a direct reference 
to Osiris, in connection with one of those allegories which 
represented him as the beneficent property of the Nile.* 

^ Plat, de Isid. s. 14. Coptos, the city yiolation — ^Arrantesef. 11. Of the girer- 

of mourDing. out of tunbeAint — Netnnt. 12. Of Herher 

* Plin. xxvii. 7. He says the best kind — ^Annet. 13. Of eyesgiring oatiunbeami 
grew at Taposiris. — Teken. 14. Of Sa— Henha. 15. Of the 

' Herodot. ii. 59. 15th — Arman. 16. 2nd mesper — ^Mehxtmf. 

* Conf. Deut. zxvi. 14 : < I have eaten 17. Of Sa — Home on the column. IS. Of 
thereof in my mourning.' the moon — ^AhL 19. Of Setemxeruf — 

* The Eponymous Festirals of the thirty Anmntef. SO.JT/osi]— Annbit. 21. . . . — 
days of the Egyptian month, and the god Anubis. 22. Of Pehutet — the serpent Na. 
who presided or named the day, were as 23. . . . — Anubis. 24. Kerb, darkness — 
follow: — 1. Festival of the Neomenia — the red serpent Na. 25. Of the ponrer 
Thoth. 2. Festival of the day of the out — Sema. 26. Of apparition — Maameref. 
month— Horus, avenger of his father. 3. 27. Of Useb— UnUb. 2S. Of celestial 
First mesper^ day of Osiris. 4. First of abyss— Ohnoumis. 29. Of Hasa— Utet 
appearance of amatf Amset. 5. Sacrifice — tefef. SO. Of the grasshopper — ^Netas. 
god Hapu. 6. Tuautmutf. 7. Of separa- (Brugsch, * Mat^riaux/ p. 57.) 'Several 
tion — Qabhsenuf. 8. Beginning of Sop — festivals are also given in the Sallier 
Artitefef. 9. Of Sekau— Ar6tef. 10. Of Calendar. Khonsn was conceived on the 

Cup. XV.] 



I will not pretend to decide whether the festivals mentioned 
by Greek writers in honour of Isis or Osiris really appertained to 
them. It is highly probable that the Greeks and Ilomans who 
ritited Egypt, having little acquaintance with the deities of that 
ooimtry, ascribed to those two many of the festivals which were 
celebrated in honour of Khem and other gods ; and it is evident 
that the Egyptians themselves often aided in confirming strangers 
in the erroneous notions they entertained, especially on the 
•abject of religion. And so confirmed were the Greeks in their 
mistaken opinions, that they would frith difficulty have listened 
to anyone who informed them that Anubis hail not the head of 
a dog, and Amen that of a ram, or that the cow was the emblem 
of Athor rather than of Isis. 

In the absence, however, of such authority as that which has 
•atisfied us respecting the last-mentioneil points, we must for the 
present content ourselves with the statements of Plutarch and 
other writers respecting the festivals of Isis and Osiris. We 
must conclude that they were solemnised at the periods they 
mention, and for the reasons assigned by them, connected with 
the seasons of the year, or the relation supposed to subsist 
between the allegorical history of his adventures and natural 

But we cannot believe that the Paamylia mentioned by 
Plntarch was a festival in honour of Osiris, which, he says, 
resembled the Phallophoria, or Priapeia of the Gn*eks.^ And 
though a plausible reason seems to be assigned for its institution, 
it is evident that the phallic figures of the Egyptian temples 
lepresent Khem, the generative principle, who bore no analogy 
to Usiris ; and there is no appearance of these two deities having 
been confounded, even in the latest times, on the monuments of 
Egypt. Such opinions seem to have been introduced by the 
Greeks, who were ignorant of the religion of the Egyptians, and 
who endeavoured to account for all they heanl or saw repre- 
•e&ted by some reference to the works of nature, com{)elling 

lAlli <Uj of th« month and boiii on th« 
IStk, whH'h fod WM alto lord of the •pooj- 
SMM ItAtival v( the 2nd and 15th daj of 
tiM mottth, aUo of the 6th. Th« fettival 
•f KWa or Anui ia the rtign of Bamwee 
UL waft on the 26th of Tachoni. A lut of 
tiM local fcttiraU of Amen U alto jirea bj 
IM Hune author from the 8th fhoth to 
Each principal town had a local 
Under the earlier djnattiee the 

calendar vaa a« foUovn : — 1. Fint of rear. 
3. Thoth. X New Year. 4. Uaka. 5. 
Socharu. 6. Greater ami I^m bnniing. 
7. Holocaiut*. 8. Manifeetation of Khem. 
9. Sat. 10. Fir»t of month. 11. Flrrt of 
half-month. l'n>lrrth» 12th I>jnaatj were 
addeil :^12. Fr^tiral of OiirU. 13. Epa- 
gMii4*n«. (liruKH-h, Ibid. p. 2$.>— 8. B. 
> riut. de Uid. M. 12 and IS. 


every thing to form part of their favourite explanation of a 
fanciful fable. But in justice to Plutarch it must be observed, 
that he gives those statements as the vulgar interpretations of 
the fabulous story of Isis and Osiris, without the sanction of his 
own authority or belief ; and he distinctly tells us that they are 
mere idle tales, directly at variance with the nature of the gods. 

The festival of Minerva at Sais was performed on a particular 
night, when everyone who intended to be present at the sacrifice 
was required to light a number of lamps in the open air around 
his house. They were small vases filled with salt and oil,^ on 
which a wick floated, and, being lighted, continued to bum all 
night. They called it the Festival of Burning Lamps. It was 
not observed at Sius alone : every Egyptian who could not attend 
in person was required to observe the ceremony of lighting lamps, 
in whatever part of the country he happened to be ; and it was 
considered of the greatest consequence to do honour to the deity 
by the proper performance of this rite. 

On the sacred lake of Sais they represented, probably on 
the same occasion,^ the allegorical history of Osiris, which the 
Egyptians deemed the most solemn mystery of their religion. 
Herodotus always mentions it with great caution. It was the 
record of the misfortunes which had happened to one whose name 
he never ventures to utter; and his cautious behaviour with 
regard to everything connected with Osiris shows that he had 
been initiated into the mysteries, and was fearful of divulging 
any of the secrets he had solenmly bound himself to keep. It is 
also obvious that the fetes he describes with the greatest rever^ 
ence were connected with that deity, as those of Isis and of the 
burning lamps at Sius ; which may be accounted for by the same 
reason — ^his admission to the mysteries of Osiris. And though 
it is not probable that a Greek who had remained so short a 
time in the country had advanced beyond the lowest grades in 
the scale of the initiated, and that too of the lesser mysteries 
alone, he was probably permitted to attend during the celebrar 
tion of the rites in honour of that deity, like the natives of 
the country. 

The lake of Sais still exists near the modem town of Sa el 
Hagar.^ The walls and ruins of the town stand high above the 
level of the plain ; and the site of the temple of Neith might be 

* Perhaps wAter, salt, and oil. The * Herodot. ii. 171. * 

offering mentioned towards the end of this ' Or * Sa of the Stone,' from the mini 
chapter is probablj of a lamp. there. 


aaoertained, and the interesting remains of that splendid city 
might, with careful investigation and the labour of some weeks* 
excavation, be yet restored to view. 

There is some resemblance between the fete of lamps at SaSs 
mad one kept in China, which has been known in that country 
from the earliest times ; and some might even be disposed to trace 
an analogy between it and the custom still prevalent in Switzer* 
land, Ireland, and other countries, of lighting fires on the summits 
of the hills upon the fete of St. John. But such accidental 
•amilarities in customs are too often considered of importance, 
when we ought, on the contrary, to be surprised at so few being 
similar in different parts of the world. 

Those who went to Heliopolis and to Buto merely offere<l 
aacrifices. At Papremis the rites were much the same as in other 
places ; but when the sun went down, a body of priests made 
certain gestures about the statue of Mars, while others in greater 
numbers, arme<l with sticks, took up a position at the entrance 
of the temple. A numerous crowd of persons, amounting ti) 
upwards of 1000 men, each armed with a stick, then presente<l 
themselves with a view of performing their vows ; but no sooner 
did the priests proceed to draw forward the statue, which ha^l 
been placed in a small wooden gilded shrine u{)on a four-wheeled 
car, than they were opposed by those in the vestibule, who en- 
deavoured to prevent their entrance into the temple. p]ach 
party attacked its opponents with sticks ; when an affray ensued 
which, as Herodotus observes, must, in spite of all the assertions 
of the Egyptians to the contrary, have been frequently attended 
with serious cons^yquonces, and even the loss of life. 

Another festival mentioned by Herodotus^ is said to have 
been founde<l on a mysterious story of King Khampsinitus, of 
which he witnessed the celebration. 

On that occasion the priests chose one of their number, whom 
they dre8se<l in a i>eculiar robe, made for the puqN)Ao on the very 
day of the cen*uumy, and then conducted him, with his eyes bound, 
to a roa<l heading to the temple of Ceres. Having left him there, 
they all retirt^i ; and two wolves were said to dirt^ct his steps to 
the temple, a clistance of twenty stades, and afterwards to recon- 
duct him t4> tho same spot. 

On the liUh of the first month was celebrat4>d the fete of 
Tbotb, from whom that month took its name. It was usual for 

* Hcrodot. li. V2'2. 


those who attended * to eat honey and eggs, saying to each other, 
How sweet a thing is truth ! ' ^ And a similar allegorical cnstom 
was observed in Mesor6, the last month of the Egyptian year,' 
when, on * offering the first-froits of their lentils, they exclaimed, 
^ The tongue is fortune, the tongue is God I" ' Most of their fetes 
appear to have been celebrated at the new or the full moon, as 
we learn from Plutarch and Herodotus, the former being also 
chosen by the Israelites for the same purpose; and this may, 
perhaps, be used as an argument in favour of the opinion that 
the months of the Egyptians were originally lunar, as in many 
countries even to the present day. 

The historian of Halicamassus speaks of an annual ceremony 
which the Egyptians informed him was performed in memorial 
of the daughter of Mycerinus.' The body of that princess had 
been deposited within the wooden figure of a heifer, and was still 
preserved, in the time of Herodotus, in a richly ornamented 
chamber of the royal palace at Sais. Every kind of perfume was 
burnt before it during the day, and at night a lamp was kept 
constantly lighted. In an adjoining apartment were about 
twenty colossal statues of wood, representing naked women, in a 
standing position, said by the priests of Sais to be the concubines 
of Mycerinus. * But of this,' adds the historian, ' I can only 
repeat what was told me ; and I believe all they relate of the 
love of the king, and the hands of the statues, to be a fable. 
The heifer is covered wfth a crimson housing, except the head 
and neck, which are laid over with a thick coat of gold ; and 
between the horns is a golden disk of the sun. It is not stand- 
ing on its feet, but kneeling ; and in size it is equal to a large 
cow. Every year they take it out of this chamber, at the time 
when the Egyptians beat themselves and lament a certain god 
(Osiris), whom I must not mention: on which occasion they 
expose the heifer to the light, the daughter of Mycerinus having 
made this dying request to her father, that he would permit her 
to see the sun once a year.'^ 

The ceremony was evidently connected with the rites of 
Osiris ; and if Herodotus is correct in stating that it was a heifer 
(and not an ox), it may have been the emblem of Athor, in the 

■ Plat, de Isid. 8. 68. This answered to story of the love of Mycerinns, and of his 

the 16th September (o. 8.). concubinee having their handu cat o£ 

* Ibid. 8. 68. Mesor^ began on the 29th (Eaterpe, s. 131.) 
Aagast (o. s.). * Herodot. ii. 132. 

* Herodotus yery properly doabts the 


mpacity she held in the regions of the dead. The hononis paid 
to it on such an occasion could not have referred solely to a 
pffincess whose body was deposited within it: they were evidently 
intended for the deity of whom it was the emblem ; and the in- 
tiodaetion of Athor into the mysterious rites of Osiris may be 
explained by the fact of her frequently assuming the character 
of Isis. 

Plntarch/ who seems to hare in view the same ceremony, 
states this animal exposed to public view on this occasion to be 
an ox, in commemoration of the misfortunes reported to hare 
liappened to Osiris. 'About this time (the month of Athor, 
when the Etesian winds haTe ceased to blow, and the Nile, 
ntaming to its own channel, has left the country CTerywhere 
bare and naked), in consequence of the increasing length of the 
nights, the power of darkness appears to prevail, whilst that 
of light is diminished and overcome. The priests, therefore, 
practise certain doleful rites ; one of which is to expose to public 
view, as a proper representation of the present grief of the 
goddess Isis, an ox covered with a pall of the finest black linen, 
that animal being looked upon as the living image of Osiris.* 
The ceremony is performed four days successively, beginning on 
the 17th of the above-mentioned month. They represent thereby 
four things which they mourn : — 1. The falling of the Nile and 
its retiring within its own channel; 2. The ceasing of the 
northern winds, which are now quite suppressed by the prevail- 
ing strength of those from the south ; 3. The length of the 
nights and the decrease of the days ; 4. The destitute condition 
in which the land now appears, naked and desolate, its trees 
despoiled of their leaves. Thus they commemorate what they 
call the ** loss of Osiris ;" and on the 19th of the month Pachons 
another festival represents the ^finding of Osiris,*" which has 
bean already mentioned. 

The statement of Plutarch argues very strongly in favour of 
the opinion that the gilded figure annually exposed at SaSs 
appertained to the mysterious rites of Osiris; and the priests 
doabiless deviated as far from the truth in what they related 
lespecting the burial of the daughter of Mycorinus within it, as 

* Hut. de \M. f. 39. mtmbtn of OtirU <■ • woodea cow, mit*- 

* DWdorvi Mft, *Tho rcMoa of tlit lopod ia cloths uf Hm linro (AfMin^X 

vonklpof thu6«//(A(iii) it, that the soul wheoco tho aamo of tho citj i^iiiiris' 
•rOiini WM thouicht to have paMod into (L S5> 
\X\ oihtrt •Aj booAOM bis deposited tht 


in the fable, readily rejected by Herodotus, of the cause of her 
death. Indeed no one who considers the care taken by the 
Egyptians to conceal with masonry and every other means the 
spot where the bodies of ordinary individuals were deposited, 
can for a moment believe that the daughter of a Pharaoh would 
be left in that exposed situation, unburied, and deprived of 
that privilege, so ardently coveted by the meanest Egyptian, of 
reposing within the sacred bosom of the grave, removed from all 
that is connected with this life, and free from contact with the 
impurities of the world. 

Small tablets in the tombs sometimes represent a black bull 
bearing the corpse of a man to its final abode in the regions of 
the dead. The name of this bull is shown by the sculptures in 
the Oasis to be Apis, the type of Osiris : it is therefore not 
unreasonable to suppose it in some way related to this fable. 

There were several festivals in honour of the sun. Plutarch * 
states that a sacrifice was performed to it on the fourth day of 
every month, as related in the books of the genealogy of Horus, 
by whom that custom was said to have been instituted. So great 
was the veneration paid to this luminary, that in order to 
propitiate it they burnt incense three times a day — resin at its 
first rising, myrrh when in the meridian, and a mixture called 
Kuphi at the time of setting. The principal worship of Ba was 
at Heliopolis and other cities of which he was the presiding 
deity ; and every city had its holy days peculiarly consecrated to 
its patron, as well as those common to the whole country. 
Another festival in honour of the sun was held on the 30th day 
of Epipbi, called the birthday of Horus's eyes,' when the sun and 
moon were supposed to be in the same right line with the earth ; 
and on the 22nd day of Fhaophi, after the autumnal equinox, 
was a similar one, to which, according to Plutarch, they gave the 
name of * the nativity of the staves of the sun ;' intimating that 
the sun was then removing from the earth, and as its light 
became weaker and weaker that it stood in need of a staff to 
support it. In reference to which notion, he adds, * about the 
winter solstice they lead the sacred cow seven times in procession 
around her temple, calling this the searching after Osiris, that 
season of the year standing most in need of the sun's warmth.' 

In their religious solemnities music was permitted, and even 
required, as acceptable to the gods ; except, if we may believe 

1 Plut. de bid. it. 52 and 80. * Ibid. s. 52- 

Qup. XV.] 



Stebo, in the temple of Osiris, at Abydas. It probably differed 
nmch from that used on ordinary festive occasions, and was, 
aoooiding to Apuleius, of a Ingubrions character.^ But this 
I haye already mentioned in treating of the music of the 

The greater part of the flltes and religions rites of the 
Egyptians are totally unknown to us ; nor are wo acquainted 
with the ceremonies they adopted at births, weddings, and other 
oecasions connected with their domestic life. But 84»me little 
iniight may be obtained into their funeral ceremonies from the 
aooounts of Greek writers, as well as from the sculptures ; which 
last ahow that they were performed with all the pomp a solemnity 
of so much importance required. 

Circumcision was a rite practised by them from the earliest 
times. ' Its origin,' says Herodotus,' ' both among the Egyptians 
and Ethiopians,' may be traced to the most remote anti<}uity ; 
bat I do not know which of those two people borrowed it from 
the other, though several nations derived it from Egypt during 
their intercourse with that country. The strongest proof of this 
it, that all the Phoenicians who frequent Greece have lost the 
habit they took from Egypt of circumcising their children.* 
The same rite is practised to the present day by the Moslems of 
all oountries, and by the Christians of Abyssinia, as a salutary 
piecantion well suite<I to a hot climate. 

We are ignorant of the exact time or age fixed for its 
performance by the ancient Egyptians. St. Ambrose says the 
14th year : but this seems improbable, and it was perhaps left 
to the option of the individual, or of his parents, as with the 
Moalems.^ Though very generally adopted, no one was compi*Iled 
to conform to this ordinance unless initiated into the mvsteries 
or belonging to the priestly onler; and it is said that Pythagoras 
iobmitted to it in order to obtain the privileges it eonfernMl, by 
entitling him to a greater participation of the niysteries he 

' Apolviot Mft, ' £fTT»tiii noroiBA frrmk 
plaaforibai, OrccA plemmqae chorrit, 

* Hcnidet. iL .')7. 104. 

* DMar. iii. 31.orth« Troftlodrt*. 

* It is erM^At from an inapectioB of lh« 
BAsamcaU tkAt th« EcTptiAiw w«r« rir* 
cvBciaod, A&d thin fxpUins whj the ptialli 
•f tiMir nncircumciiird eD^mi«« mm 
Wwght into the camp to verifr the 
Bsaibtr of thr «UiA. Th<i rit« of circum- 
cImob U repre««nted oo th« ba*-rclicf of 


the temple of rhrnif at Knrnak, where a 
lad, iup|inM«l to be a mid of IC'ini«*«r4 If., and 
about ten or m«>r« year* t<t' Af(r, i« ri*pre- 
•etttMl itaadiDft aii«i«te*l )>t two matn»nft, 
((liabM.'* R«'v. Arrh./ 1H»?1 *) Th*' rite pnw 
bably anwe fmm wtme phv^ieal •It'fei-t. a» 
ii £aro}»t* iDilivi4uaU r«>f]uir<* to bccirrum- 
daed for rea«Afi« not r^licjou*. la annrnt 
timei D^reMitT was «aiicti«>D««i by a r4*lijiois« 
•bcerranre. Idea* rnrioa* if ant ali*unl 
prevail amoo^t all the Afrii.-iD race». — 


2 c 


sought to study. But if the law did not peremptorily require it 
for every individual, custom and public opinion tended to make 
it universal. The omission was a * reproach ; ' the uncircumcised 
Egyptian subjected himself to one of the stigmas attached to 
the ^ impure race of foreigners ; ' and we may readily understand 
how anxious every one was to remove this * reproach ' from him, 
which even the Jews feared to hear from the mouth of an 

By the Jewish law a stated time' was appointed for it, which 
was the eighth day after the birth of the child. It was per- 
emptorily required; and the divine displeasure was threatened to 
the uncircumcised. His * soul ' was doomed to be * cut off' from 
God's people as the breaker of a covenant ; and even the stranger 
bought with money as a slave was obliged to conform to this 
sacred rite.^ 

The antiquity of its institution in Egypt is fully established 
by the monuments of the Upper and Lower Country, at a period 
long antecedent to the Exodus and the arrival of Joseph ; and 
Strabo tells us that ^ a similar rite ^ was practised in Egypt* which 
was customary also among the Jews,' * and the same as adopted 
by the Moslems and Abyssinians at the present day.^ 

Some have supposed that it was done by the simple imple* 
ment used by Zipporah,^ 'a sharp stone,' and that certain stone 
knives found in the tombs of Thebes were intended for the 
purpose ; but it is more probable that these were used in other 
rites connected with sacrifice, in which the employment of so 
rude an instrument would not subject the victim to unnecessary 
inconvenience, and often to unlooked-for results. We may con- 
clude that the means adopted by the Egyptians were more 
nearly related to the ^ sharp knives' of Joshua* than the 
primitive implement used by Zipporah in * the wilderness.' 

They were particular at all times to observe omens connected 
with everything they undertook, whether it related to contract* 
ing a matrimonial alliance, building a house, or any event over 
which they had or had not controL They even watched the day 

* Josh. T. 9 : ' This day have I rolled Idumeans, see Josephus, Aniiq. ziii. 9. 
away the reproach of Egypt from off yon.' ^ r& $ri\4a firrc/Arcir. 

* Gen. xvii. 12. Luke it 21. Philip. * Strabo, xrii. p. 556. The oovenant 
iii. 5. with Abraham ordained that erery wtak 

* Calmet, on the circumcision of chHd should be circumcised. (Gen. xiii. 

Foreigners. He is wrong in supposing the 10.) * Strabo, xvi. p. 524^ 

Egyptians were contented with this ; but it ' This is described by Sonnini. 

is sometimes practised by the Moslems, * Ezod. ir. 25. ' Josh, r, 2. 
who also circumcise at any age. Of the 


when anyone was bom ; ^ and, predicting the lot that awaited 
him, they determined what he would become, the kind of death 
he would die, and other particulars relative to his fate in this 
world. With the same scrupulous care they examined the 
entrails of animals, or other omens, when about to commence a 
war, or any other undertaking which involved the interests of 
the State.' 

Of the ceremonies performed at the initiation into the 
mysteries we must necessarily remain ignorant Indeed, the 
only means of forming any opinion respecting them are to 
be derived from our imperfect acquaintance with those of 
Greece, which were doubtless imitative of the rites practised 
in Eg\'pt. 

With the Egyptians great care was taken to preserve them 
from the profanation which some secret rites underwent among 
the Greeks and Ilomans, and they excluded all persons who 
were considered unfit to participate in solemnities of so sacred 
a nature. And * not only,' says Clemens, ^ did they scruple to 
entrust their secrets to every one, and prevent all unholy persons 
from becoming acquainted with divine matters, but confined 
them to those who were invested with the ofiice of king, and to 
such of the priesthood who, from their worth, learning, and 
station, were deemed worthy of so great a privilege.' 

Many rites and ceremonies were borrowed by Greece from 
Egypt ; of which the next in importance to the mysteries of 
Elensis, and the institution of oracles, was the Thesmophoria — 
a festival in honour of Ceres, celebrated in many Greek cities. 
and particularly at Athens. 'Thc^se rites,' says Herodotus,' 
* were brought from Egypt into Greet^e by the daughters of 
Danaus, who taught them to the Prlosgic women ; but in the 
course of time, the Dorians having driven out the ancient inha- 
bitants of Peloponnesus, they fell into disuse, except amongst 
the Arcailians, who, having remaineil in the country, c(mtinue<l 
to preserve them.' He states that they resembled the ceremonies. 
or, as the Egyptians calltnl them, the mysteries, perfomuHl on 
the sacre<l lake of Sais, in allusion to the accidents whic*h had 
befallen Osiris, whose tomb was in that citv. 

In Athens the worshippers at the Thesmophoria ' were free- 

> HeroHot. ii. 82. * lw> o»t l.«i»k at it rat on that dar.' (CbaUft. 

' Tlic esi«t#Dce of omcna it proved hj *Lc i'alvndrirr/ |». til*.) — S. U. 
tiM expreMKD id the calendar of the ' 171. Such a|>iie.\rt lo be 

fapjiiM Sallier, of the ag« of Mtftcptah, Uie neaaiaf of the hutonaa. 

2 c 2 


bom women,^ it being unlawful for any of servile condition to 
be present, whose husbands defrayed the charges of the solemnity, 
which they were obliged to do if their wives' portion amounted 
to three talents. These women were assisted by a priest called 
StephanophoroBy because his head was adorned with a crown whilst 
he executed his office ; as also by certain virgins, who were 
strictly confined, and kept under severe discipline, being main- 
tained at the public charge in a place called Thesmophoreion. 
The women were clad in white apparel, to intimate their spotless 
innocence, and were obliged to observe the strictest chastity for 
two or three days before and during the whole time of the 
solemnity, which lasted four days. For which end they used to 
strew upon their beds such herbs as were thought to calm the 
passions, such as Affnus castas, fleabane, and vine-branches.' It 
was held unlawful to eat pomegranates, or to adorn themselves 
with garlands. Everything was carried on with the greatest 
appearance of seriousness and gravity, and nothing was tolerated 
that bore the least show of wantonness and immodesty, or even 
of mirth, the custom of jesting upon one another excepted, 
which was constantly done in memory of lambe, who by a 
taimting jest extorted a smile from Ceres when in a pensive and 
melancholy humour. Three days at least were spent in making 
preparations for the festivaL Upon the 1 1th of Pyanepsion, 
the women, carrying books containing the laws upon their heads, 
in memory of Ceres' invention,^ went to Eleusis, where the 
solemnity was kept. This day was hence called Anodos, ** the 
ascent." Upon the 14th the festival began, and lasted till the 
17th. Upon the 16th they kept a fast, sitting upon the ground, 
in token of humiliation; whence the day was called Nesteia^ 
*' the fast." 

^ It was usual at this solemnity to pray to Ceres, Proserpine, 
Pluto, and Calligenia ; though some will have this Calligenia to 
have been the nurse of Ceres, others her priestess, others her 
waiting-maid, and some suppose her the same as Ceres.^ The 
custom was omitted by the Eretrians alone of all the Grecians. 
There was also a mysterious sacrifice called Didgma, or Apodiofftna, 
either because all men were excluded and hanish^ from it, or 
because in a dangerous war the women's prayers were so prevalent 

* Potter, * Antiq.,' vol. i. p. 463. Thesmophoros. 

* These last were used bj the Milesian * This is refuted hj the testimonj of 
women. Aristophanes. (Potter, p. 464.) 

' Diod. i. 14, where Ceres wai called 


the gods, that their enemies were defeated and put to flight 
as far as Chalcis; whence it was sometimes called Chaleidiean 
diAgma. Another sacrifice, called ZSmia^ '^ the mulct," was offered 
as an expiation of any irregularities which happened during the 
solemnity. At the beginning of the festival all prisoners com- 
mitted to gaol for smaller faults — that is, such as did not render 
them incapable of communicating in the sacrifices and other 
parts of divine worships-were released.' 

The Eleusinian mysteries, the most noted solemnity of any in 
Greece, were also instituted in honour of Ceres ; and from their 
being derived from Egypt, it may not be foreign to the present 
subject to introduce some account of their mode of celebration in 
Greece.^ ' They were often called by way of eminence, Mytteriay 
** the mysteries," without any other note of distinction ; and so 
superstitiously careful were they to conceal these sacred rites, 
that if any person divulged any part of them,' he was thought to 
have called down the divine judgment upon his head, and it was 
accounted unsafe to abide in the same house with him. He was 
even apprehended as a public offender, and put to death. Every- 
thing contained a mystery : Ceres herself (to whom, with her 
daughter Proserpine, this solemnity was sacred) was not called 
by her own name, but by the unusual title of Achtheia, which 
•eems to be derived from A^ha$, grief or heaviness, because of 
her sorrow for the loss of her daughter when stolen by Pluto. 
The same secrecy was strictly enjoined not only in Attica, but 
in all other places of Greece where the festival was oliserved, 
except Crete ; and if any person, not lawfully initiated, did even 
through ignorance or mistake chance to be present at the 
mysterious rites, he forfeited his life. . • • Persons of both sexes 
and all ages were initiated. Indeed, it was not a matter of 
indifference whether they would be so or not ; for the neglect of 
it was looked upon as a crime, insomuch that it was one part of 
the accusation for which Socrates was condemned to death. All 
persons initiated were thought to live in a state of greater 
happiness and security than other men, being under the more 
immediate care and protection of the goddess. Nor did the 
benefit of it extend only to this life : even after death they 
enjoyed (as was believed) far greater degrees of felicity than 
others, and were honoured with the first plmH*s in the Elysian 
shades. But since the benefits of initiation were so great, no 

> PotUr, * Antiq./ toI. i. p. 449. • CY. Herodot. %u 171. Ilor. CM. iii. 2, 26. 


wonder they were very cautions what persons they admitted to 
it. Such, therefore, as were convicted of witchcraft, or any other 
heinous crime, or had committed murder, though against their 
will, were debarred from these mysteries ; and though in later 
ages all persons, barbarians excepted, were admitted to them, yet 
in the primitive times the Athenians excluded all strangers, that 
is, all who were not members of their own commonwealth. 
Hence, when Hercules, Castor, and Pollux desired to be initiated, 
they were first made citizens of Athens.* Nor were they admitted 
to the greater mysteries^ but only to the less, which were sacred to 
Proserpine, and were instituted for this purpose, in order that 
the laws might not be violated by the admission of Hercules.' 
They were not celebrated, like the former, in the month Boe- 
dromion, at Eleusis, an Attic borough, from which Ceres was 
called Eleusinia, but at Agree, a place near the river Ilissus, in 
the month Anthesterion. 'In later times, the lesser festival 
was used as a preparative to the greater ; for no persons were 
initiated in the greater unless they had been purified at the 
lesser. The manner of the purification was this : — Having kept 
themselves chaste and unpolluted nine days, they came and 
ofiered sacrifices and prayers, wearing crowns and garlands of 
flowers, which were called ismeray or imera. They had also, 
under their feet, Bios kSdioUy "Jupiter's skin," which was the 
skin of a victim ofiered to that god. The person that assisted 
them herein was called hydranoSy from hyddr^ " water," which was 
used at most purifications ; and they themselves were named 
«.»«tai, or persons "initiated.'; 

* About a year after, having sacrificed a sow to Ceres, they 
were admitted to the greater mysteries, the secret rites of which, 
some few excepted being reserved for the priests alone, were 
frankly revealed to them ; whence they were called epharoiy and 
epoptai, " inspectors." The manner of initiation was iLus : — ^The 
candidates, being crowned with myrtle, had admittance by night 
into a place called mystikos sSkoSy ** the mystical temple,'* which 
was an edifice so vast and capacious that the most ample theatre 
did scarce exceed it. At their entrance they purified themselves 
by washing their hands in holy water, and at the same time 
were admonished to present themselves with minds pure and 
undefiled, without which the external cleanness of the body 
would by no means be accepted. After this the holy mysteries 

» Plut, in ITiM. 


were read to them out of a book called peirdma ; which word is 
derived from petra^ " a stone," because the book consiste^l of two 
stones fitly cemented together. Then the priest who initiated 
them, called hierophantes, proposed certain quest ions, as whether 
they were fasting, &c., to which they returned answers in a set 
form.^ This done, strange and amazing objects presented them- 
selves. Sometimes the place they were in seemed to shake round 
them ; sometimes it appeared bright and resplendent with light 
and radiant fire, and then again was covered with black darkness. 
Sometimes thunder and lightning, sometimes frightful noises 
and bellowings, sometimes terrible apparitions astonishetl the 
trembling spectators. The being present at these sights was 
called aulopsia^ "intuition."* After this th(»y were dismissed 
with these words, kanx ompax.'^ 

During that part of the ceremony calle<l epopteia, * insiKM?- 
tion/ the gods themselves were supposed to appear to the 
initiated ; and it was in order to discover if the candi<lates were 
sufficiently prepared for such a mark of their favour that these 
terrific preludes were instituted. Proclus thus des<'Tibes them 
in his Commentary on Plato's Republic : * In all initiations and 
mysteries the gods exhibit themselves under many forms, and 
appear in a variety of shapes. Sometimes their unfigure<I light 
is held forth to the view; sometimes this light appears under 
a human form, and it sometimes assumes a different shape.' In 
hb Commentary on the first Alcibiades he also says : * In the 
most holy of the mysteries, before the giMl appears, the impul- 
sions of certain terrestrial diemons become visible, alluring the 
initiated from undefiled goods to matter.' 

Apuleius^ mentions the same extraonlinary illusions, *The 
snn being made to appear at midnight, glittering with white 
light ;' and it is supposed that Ezekiel alludes to similar sc*«*nes 
when S{)eaking of the abominations committ<f<l by the idolatrous 
' ancients of the house of Israel in the dark, everv man in the 
d^mbert of his inuigery' * 

The preliminary or<leals through which candidates were 
obliged to [lass previous to admission into the Egyptian niys* 
teries were equally if not more severe; and it frequently 
happened that their lives were exposed to grt^at <langer, as is 
said to have been the case with Pythagoras. Hut the reluctance 

* ll«tiniiu'i trMitiM oq thi* fMiivaL pr^tfani* iid<1 to hiiT« thiit mcining :o 
' lUth«r, * tn«p«ction bj oseMlf.* 8ftD«4rit. If m>, th^j wrre ini%A|>t*licd. 

* SooM Imt« »iippoM<l tiMM words to * MctJim. lib. ii. 'lb»i. 
to thf 't'rocol, O procol mU * l^k. tiiL I'J. 


of the Egyptians, particularly in the time of the Pharaohs, to 
admit strangers to these holy secrets probably rendered his trial 
more severe even than that to which the Egyptians themselves 
were subjected ; and it appears that, notwithstanding the earnest 
request made by Folycrates to Amasis to obtain this favour for 
the philosopher, many difiBculties were thrown in the way by 
the priests on his arrival in Egypt. Those of Heliopolis,^ to 
whom he first presented the letters given him by Amasis, re- 
ferred him to the college of Memphis, under the pretext of their 
seniority ; and these again, on the same plea, recommended him 
to the priests of Thebes. Bespect for the king forbade them to 
give a direct refusal ; but they hoped, says Porphyry, to alarm 
him by representing the arduous task he had to perform, and 
the repugnance of the previous ceremonies to the feelings of the 
Greeks. It was not, therefore, without surprise that they beheld 
his willingness to submit to the trials they proposed ; for though 
many foreigners were, in after-times, admitted to the mysteries 
of Egypt, few had then obtained the indulgence, except Thales 
and Eumolpus. This prejudice of the Egyptians against the 
Greeks is perfectly consistent with the statement of Herodotus, 
and is shown by other writers to have continued even after the 
accession of the Ptolemies and the Boman conquest. 

' The garments^ of those initiated into the Eleusinian mys- 
teries were accounted sacred, and of no less efiScacy to avert 
evils than charms and incantations. They were therefore never 
cast off till completely worn out. Nor was it then usual to throw 
them away, but they were made into swaddling clothes for 
children, or consecrated to Ceres and Proserpine. 

' The chief person who attended at the initiation was called 
hierophanteSf " the revealer of holy things." He was a citizen of 
Athens, and held his office during life; though amongst the 
Celeans and Phliasians it was customary for him to resign his 
place every fourth year, at the time of the festival. He was 
obliged to devote himself wholly to divine service, and to live a 
chaste and simple life ; to which end it was usual for him to 
anoint himself with the juice of hemlock, which by its extreme 
coldness is said to extinguish in a great measure the natural 
heat. The hierophanies had three assistants ; the first of whom 
was called, from his office, dadouchos^ "torch-bearer,*** and to 

* Porphyr. de ViU Pythag. Sodo^XO* rmr kkimrdrmif *%Xnehm9 

* Potter, *Antiq.' vol. i. p. 452. /ivfmiplmwj in tht time of GoBstsntin*. 
' An inscription on one of the tombs of This was about sixty years before those 

the kings at Thebes was written by a mysteries were abolished by Theodosius. 

Cbap. XV.] the ELEUSmiAN MTSTEBIES. 393 

him it was permitted to many; the second was the keryx^ or 
** herald ;" the third ministered '' at the altar/* and was for that 
reason named ho epi iai bomoi. The hierophantiU is said to have 
been a ty|)e of the great Creator of all things, the d<idoucho9 of 
the sun, the keryx of ^[ercury, and ho epi toi homoi of the moon. 

' There were also certain public oflicers whose business it was 
to take care that all things were performed aeconling to custom. 
First, bcLsiUuB^ '^ the king," who was one of the Archons, and was 
obliged at this solemnity to offer prayers and sacriiices, to see 
that no irregularity was committed, and the day following the 
mysteries to assemble the senate to take cognizance of all the 
offenders. Besides the king were four epitnd^taiy *' curators," 
elected by the [)eople ; one of whom was appointed out of the 
■acred family of the Eumolpidae, another out of the Ceryces, and 
the remaining two from the other citizens. There were also 
ten persons who assisted at this and some other solemnities, 
who were called hieropoioi^ because it was their business to 
offer $aerifiee$. 

* This festival was celebrated in the month Boedromion, and 
continued nine days, beginning upon the fifteenth and ending 
upon the twenty-third day of that month, during which time 
it was unlawful to arrest any man, or present a petition, under 
m penalty of 1000 drachms, or (as others report) under pain of 
death. It was also unlawful for those who were initiated to sit 
upon the covering of a well, or to eat beans, mullets, or weasels. 
If any woman went in a chariot to Eleusis, she was, by an 
«dict of Lycurgns, obliged t4> pay 6000 dnu*hnis ; the design of 
irliich was to prevent the richer women distinguishing them- 
•elves from those who were poor. 

' 1. The first day was called AffyrmoB^ ** assembly,'* because 
then the worshippers first met together. 

* 2. The second was named Alade Myttai^ that is. '* to the sea, 
yoQ that are initiatiHl," because (I supposes) th(*y were com- 
manded to purify themselves by washing in the sea. 

* 3. U{M>n the third they offered sacrifices, consisting chiefly 
of an iExonian mullet, in Greek irigU^^ and Imrh^ out of Itha- 
rioDit a field of Kleusis in which that sort of com wim first sown. 
These oblations w<»re called ihya^ and aci*ountiMl so mu'rtHl that 
the priests tlK^nisclves were not alloweil (as in other offerings) to 
partake of them. 


* 4. Upon the fourth they made a solemn procession, wherein 
the kalcUhiony or holy basket of Ceres, was carried in a consecrated 
cart; crowds of people shouting as they went along, Chaire 
Demeter, " Hail, Ceres." After these followed certain women, 
called kistbphoroi, who (as the name implies) carried Icukeis, con- 
taining sesamun, carded wool, some grains of salt, a serpent, 
pomegranates, reeds, ivy-boughs, a sort of cake called phthois, 
poppies, and other things. 

* 5. The fifth was called He On lampaddn hemera, '' the torch 
day," because at night the men and women ran about with 
torches in their hands. It was also customary to dedicate 
torches to Ceres, and to contend who should present the largest ; 
which was done in memory of Ceres* journey when she sought 
Proserpine, being conducted by the light of a torch kindled in 
the flames of Etna. 

' 6. The sixth was called lakchos, from lacchus, the son of 
Jupiter and Ceres, who accompanied the goddess in her search 
for Proserpine with a torch in her hand ; whence it was that his 
statue held a torch. This statue was carried from the Ceramicus 
to Eleusis in solemn procession, called after the hero's name 
lakchos. The statue and the persons that accompanied it had 
their heads crowned with myrtle. They were named Idkcha^gdgoi^ 
and all the way danced and sang and beat brazen kettles. The 
road by which they issued out of the city was ccdled hiera hodos, 
** the sacred way " — the resting-place, hiera eyke, from a fig-tree 
which grew there, and was (like all other things concerned in 
this ceremony) accounted sacred. It was also customary to rest 
upon a bridge built over the river Cephissus, where they made 
themselves merry by jesting on those who passed by. Having 
crossed this bridge, they went to Eleusis, the way into which 
was called the mystical entrance. 

* 7. Upon the seventh day were sports, in which the victors 
were rewarded with a measure of barley, that grain being the 
first sown in Eleusis. 

* 8. The eighth was called '^ the Epidaurian day," because it 
once happened that iBsculapius, coming from Epidaurus to 
Athens, and desiring to be initiated, had the lesser mysteries 
repeated. Whence it became customary to celebrate them a 
second time upon this day, and to admit to initiation such 
persons as had not before enjoyed that privilege. 

* 9. The ninth and last day of the festival was called ^ the 
earthen vessels," because it was usual to fill two such vessels with 

CBap. XVJ 



wine, one of which was placed towards the east, and the other 
towards the west These, after the rei)etition of certain mystical 
words, were both thrown down, and tiie wine being spilt u|Mm 
the ground, was offered as a libation/ ^ 

During 'the feasts and festivals,' the statues of the gods 
were dressed in 'the sacred vestments;'' and the priests minis- 
tered to them ' three times ' in the course of the day, according 
to certain regulations 'ordained by law.'* The ceremony of 
clothing them was the peculiar office of a class of priests called 
Hierost4>li by Greek writers, who had the privilege of entering 
the sanctuary for this purpose, like the chief priests and pro- 
phets. Each deity had its particular emblems, and a proper 
drett, of a form and character prescribed in the sacnnl books. 
Thus the vestments of Osiris were of a uniform shadowless 
white, as we learn from Plutarch and the sculptures of the 
temples ; those of Isis were dyed with a variety of colours, and 
frequently imitated the complicated hue and arrangement of 
feather work, as if she were enveloped in the wings of the sacred 
valture.^ ' For,' says the same author,* ' as Osiris is the First 
Principle, prior to all beings, and purely intelligent, he must 
ever remain unmixed and undefiled; consequently, when his 
vestments are once taken off his statues, they are ever afterwards 
pat by, aud carefully preserved untouched ; wiiile those of Isis, 
whose power is totally conversant about matter, whi(;h I)ecomes 
and admits all things, are frequently made use of, an<l that too 
without the same scrupulous attention.' This ceremony of dress- 
ing the statues is still retained in the religious rites of some 
people at the present day, who clothe the images of g<Nls or 
taints on particular festivals, and carry them in procession, like 

* Thai man J of th« Ef jptUn doctrioM 
an myitcriea, U cTident from th« rubrics 
«f OTTtaia chaptcra, ia which it it itatad 
thai tha thiBf affirmed was tha freatatt 
af Mjitarisi, «od aJso that tha deceased 
km«t ecrtaia thiapi aecessarj to his {Assaga 
hi tha foturt stAte, m the mystical asmes 
af the bark of Acheroa, those of the dour 
md Ma parU of the Hall of tha Two Truths, 
md tha appelUtioas of ccrtaia deities. 
Awifdiif to Clemeas, the kaowledfa of 
■y Uari ss was kept hj tha priests. It Is 
aal JBipriibabla that ther wrre commnai* 
Mlad hf aartaia secret rites sad ceramoaies, 
la whkh the word m jsterT maj be applied. 
0^ af tha iaitiatioas was'ao doubt seeiuf 
Iht SfVfa of tha (od, as tha Lthiopiaa 
* Flaachi did al Ualiepolis. Aa 

lnscrlptioB of a high priest at Memphis 
states thst ha kaew the srraoi;emeBts of 
earth and those of Heliupolis sad Memphis, 
that he had peaetrsted the myftteries of 
9W9TJ saactuarj, that aothing wss coa- 
oeal»d from him, thst he adored Ood and 
glorlfieti Him ia all His works, sad that he 
hid ia his breast all thst he hsil seea. — 8. B. 
' Jerem. i. 9 ; sad Haruch ri. 15, 5H, 
72, where also the cu«tum of gildiag tha 
woodea idols of Ilsbrlou is mrutioaed (t. H, 
39, Ike), aad of mskiog *crowa« fur the 
heads of thrtr gM* ' (t. i*X aad * lightiag 
them caatiles ' (r. 19). 

* RiiMftta Stone, liaes 7 and 40. 

* Like tha figure of Mut, in woudcut 
Ko. 5<>5. 

* Plat, da Uid. s. 7S. 


the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, Nor can the custom of put- 
ting the hisweh^ or sacred covering, upon the tomb of a Moslem 
sheikh fail to remind us of the hieros ko9mo8 (holy ornament or 
covering) of antiquity ; as the * crowning the tomb of Osiris with 
flowers/* which was done on stated occasions by the priests of 
that deity at Philae, recalls that of carrying flowers and palm- 
branches to the grave of a departed friend in the cemeteries of 
modern Egypt. The same was done to individuals as well as in 
honour of Osiris, and sarcophagi are frequently found in the 
tombs of Thebes with flowers and garlands placed in or near 
them, either by the priests, or the relations of the deceased who 
attended at the funeral 

In the time of the Ptolemies the religious societies^ were 
obliged to perform an annual voyage to Alexandria, the royal 
residence at that period, to present themselves at the palace. 
This was doubtless in conformity with a custom established in 
the olden times of the Pharaohs, when the seat of government 
was at Thebes or Memphis; and it continued to be observed 
until dispensed with by Epiphanes. 

Besides the feasts and ceremonies of public rejoicing or of 
general abstinence, many fasts were enjoined on each individual, 
either as occasional voluntary expiations of secret offences which 
were dependent upon their own conscience, or in compliance 
with certain regulations at fixed periods. They were then re- 
quired to abstain from the enjoyment of luxuries, as of the bath, 
the table, and perfumes, and, above all, from the gratification 
of the passions. Some of these, as Apuleius' informs us, 
lasted ten days, during which time the latter prohibition ^ was 
strictly enforced — a measure which appears in Italy to have 
called forth great complaints from the votaries of Isis, when her 
worship was established in that country. [It is doubtful if 
fasting, as a sacred rite, was practised by the Egyptians. Some 
have thought it alluded to in the negative confession of the 
Bitual. — S. B.] It is to this Propertius * alludes. 

In the time of the Greeks and Bomans they had some flutes 
of a wanton character, in which the object was to seek amuse- 
ment and indulgences of every kind ; but it does not appear 
whether they were instituted in early times, or were a Greek 
innovation. Strabo mentions one of these, Muring which a 

> Plat, de Isid. i. 21. * Metom. ii. p. 1000. 

' RosetU Stone, line 17. * Jnven. Sat. ti. 535. 

* Propert. lib. IL £leg. 33, lines 1 and 15. Ovid. Amor. Ui. 10, U 


dense crowd of people hurried down the canal from Alexandria 
to Canopus to join the festive meeting. Day and night it was 
corered with boats bringing men and women, singing and 
dancing with the greatest licentiousness ; and at Canopus itself 
inns were opened upon the canal purposely for the eouvenienoe 
of indulging in these amusements.' ^ 

AthensBUs mentions a grand procession in the time of Ptolemy 
Philadelphus, the splendour of which was surprising. The most 
nre and curious animals from all countries were conducted in 
it, and the statues of the gods, as well as everything which 
ooold give dignity and interest to the spectacle, were brought 
together on the occasion. There is reason to suppose that it 
resembled in many respects similar pomps of the early Pharaohs; 
I therefore refer the curious reader to the full account of it in 
the work of that author.^ 

I have already mentioned, in a preceding chapter, the nature 
of sacrifices offered in early ages, and have shown at how remote 
an era the mode of addressing prayers to the deity, the adoption 
of the peculiar forms and attributes of the gcxls, the establish- 
ment of oracles, and other matters connected with religion, were 
introduced among the Egyptians. If at the earliest periods of 
their history they were contented with herbs and inct^nse, they 
afterwards admitted animals ' into their sacritices, and victims 
were bound and slain on the altar, and either offered entire or 
into portions before the statue of the god, together with 
fruit, and other offerings prescribed by law. To some 
deities oblations of a peculiar kind were made, being deemed 
more particularly suited to their worship; and some festivals 
leqoired an observance on this head which differed greatly 
fma ordinary custom, as the burning of the body of the victim 
at the fete of Isis ^ and the offering of a pig at the festivals of 
Bacchus * and the moon. For though many ceremonit^s, as the 
iifaations of wine, and certain formulie, were common to all or 
most of the Egyptian sacrifices, the inspection of entrails and 
the manner of burning the victims requireil a particular method 
in the rites of some deities,* and peculiar offerings were reserved 
for remarkable occasions. 

Incense [called $en neter^ * divine incensi' * or ' frankincense '] 

* Sln^ iiii. p. ^51. oicii : aiKi Vsrro, tie R« Rwtica, ii. 5. 
' AUm. llti|Mi. ▼. ^ 196, et ttq, * Hcrodot. ti. io. 

• 8m PaoMBiM (hb. i. c. 24) <m tkt * IbMt ii. 48. • Ibid. ii. 3$. 
of a prvjuJicv agMUl tlauf huhnf 


was offered to all the gods, and introduced on every grand occa* 
sion whenever a complete offering was made : for the Egyptians, 
like the Jews and other people, frequently presented a simple 
oblation of wine, oil, or other liquid, or any single gift, as a 
necklace, a bouquet of flowers, ointment, or whatever they had 
vowed, or the occasion required. 

Incense was sometimes presented alone, though more usually 
accompanied by a libation of wine. It consisted of various 
qualities or ingredients, according to circumstances, as I have 
stated in the offerings made to the sun,^ when resin, myrrh, and 
kuphi were adapted to different times of the day. Myrrh, says 
Plutarch, is supposed to be called JBoZ' by the Egyptians, 
signifying the dissipation of melancholy ; and the ' Euphi is a 
mixture composed of the sixteen following ingredients : honey, 
wine, raisins, Cyprus, resin, myrrh, aspalathus, seselis, sthoenan- 
thus, asphaltus, saffron, and dock,' the greater and lesser juniper, 
cardamums, and aromatic reed.' 


Ko. 699. Fig. 1. Throwing the balls of inoenie into the fire. % 3. OeuMn. a, a. Cape for holding 
the Incenee balls. b, c The cup in which was the fire. In b are three flamee of lire, in e oolj one. 
4. A censer without a handle. ft, 6. Other oensen, with incense bails or pastilles wtlhla. These last 
two are from the tombe near the Pyramids. 

Some resinous substances have been found in the tombs at 
Thebes, but it does not appear if they were used for incense, or 
other purposes ; and one of those brought to England by Lord 
Claud Hamilton is probably mastic, used by women in the East 
at the present day, and probably also in former times, to sweeten 
their breath/ According to the chemical examination made of 
it by Ure, * it has a specific gravity of 1*067, and dissolves both 
in alcohol and oil of turpentine, which circumstance, with its 
topaz yellow colour,' leads him ' to believe it to be mastic,' a 
gum resin that exudes from the Lentiscus, well known to be 

* Plut. de Isid. ss. 52, 80. spikenard, crocus and cassia,' and for < car- 

' Bal sigaities ' the eye/ or ' the end,* daraum/ * cinnamon.* (Squire, translation 

in Coptic ; U|A.X is * myrrh.* ^^ Plutarch, de Isid. s. 81.) 

» The Gr^ name is UicaBos. Demo- ^^ ^*>« medical papyrus Ebers is a 

crates substitutes for * seselis, asphaltus, "^eipt for pastilles for the brwth.— S. B. 

safi'ron, Bp^ntw^ and lapathusy* ' bdellium, 

Cur. XT.] 


oommon in the island of Scio. The other u thna described by 
Dr. Urc : ' It has a rub; red colour and the remarkable density 
of 1*204, being much more than any resinous substance known 
•t the present day. It intomesces when heated over a lamp, 
and burns much like amber. Like it, also, it afiunls a musky 
odonr when heated with nitric acid. It diasolvin in alcohol 
•od wood spirit, in which respect it diflcra from amber. It is 
iniolnble in oil of torpentine or caustic lye.* 

The incense burnt in the temples before the altar was made 
into small balls, or pastillee,' which were tlirown by the baud 
into the censer. The latter generally consisted of an open cup 
of bronze (sometimes two), holding the fire, 8upporte<l by a long 
baodle, whose opposite extremity was ornamented with the head 

m tarat «t tki IMlnl oriba iBUidtfloii of tbc Nllb 

of a hawk, surmounted by a disk representing the g<Hl Ra or the 
MU ; and in the centre of this was another cup, fnmi whioh the 
pMtilles were taken with the finger and thumb to be thrown 
Bpott the fire. Sometimes tiie tncensc was burnt in a cup wilh- 
oat the handle, and some censers appear to have Ih^'h made with 
ft ooTer, protiably pierced with holes to allow the smoke to 
flteape, like thi>se now employed in the chnrchra of Italy. 

"When a victim was sought for the altar, it was carefully 
CXUDined by one of the Sphra^ittai,* an order of priests to whom 
tfaii peculiar office belonged. According to I'Iutan>h,' nnl oxen 
were alone selected for the purpose; 'and so scruj)ub)U!i,' he adds, 

• C*II*<I tnk—S. D. 


were they on this point, that a single black or white hair 
rendered them unfit for sacrifice, in consequence of the notion 
that Typho was of that colour. For in their opinion sacrifices 
ought not to be made of such things as are in themselves agree- 
able to the gods, but rather of those creatures into which the 
souls of wicked men have been confined during the course of 
their transmigration/ 

The same remark is made by Diodorus,^ who not only states 
that it was lawful to offer red oxen, because Typho was supposed 
to be of that colour, but that red, or red-haired men^ were 
formerly sacrificed by the Egyptian kings at the altar of Osiri& 
This story is repeated by Athenaeus, and by Plutarch,^ who 
states, on the authority of Manetho, that * formerly in the city of 
Idithya ' they were wont to bum even men alive, giving them 
the name of Typhos, and winnowing their ashes through a sieve 
to scatter and disperse them in the air, which human sacrifices 
were performed in public, at a stated season of the year, during 
dog-days.' But from its being directly contrary to the usages 
of the Egyptians, and totally inconsistent with the feelings of a 
civilised people, it is scarcely necessary to attempt a refutation 
of so improbable a tale ; and Herodotus justly blames the 
Greeks ^ for supposing that * a people to whom it was forbidden 
to sacrifice any animal except pigs, geese, oxen, and calves, 
and this only provided they were dean, should ever think of 
immolating a human being.' * 

Some have felt disposed to believe that in the earliest times 
(to which indeed Manetho and Diodorus confine those sacrifices), 
and long before they had arrived at that state of civilisation in 
which they are represented by the Bible history and the monu- 
ments, the Egyptians may have been guilty of these cruel 
practices and have sacrificed their captives at the altars of the 
gods. The abolition of the custom was said to have taken place 
in the reign of Amosis,* and De Pauw, who is disposed to bdieve 
the statement, endeavours to excuse them by observing,^ that 
* the famous Act for burning heretics alive was only abrogated 
in England under the reign of Charles II.,' as though it were 

* Diodor. L 88. with the Greek notion of appeMiBg the 

* Plut. de Isid. s. 73. Athen. iv. p. winds. (Herodot. ii. 119; and Vin. A. 
172. • Eileith™. ii. 116.) • Herodot. U. 45. 

* It wu a Greek cnstom in early limtB, * Certainly not the Amoaii of the 18tk 
TScelve Trojan captives were killed at the Dynasty. 

funeral of Patroclus : Homer's Iliad, A, 33. ' * Snr lea figyptieni at les Chinois,' toI. 

Menelans was seized by the Egyptians for ii. p. 113. 
sacrificing young children in accordance 


•aalogotu to a htiman Bacrifice. Hony even suppose the record 
of diu ancient custom may be traced in the groups represented ' 

OB the fs^ailcs t>f Egyptian temples, vhem the kin;; tKM.-uta as if 
ia the act of slaying his prisunera in the pn-sciin; of the god. 

■ TW B«m pot to dritb la th« mt*- 

mttim npnHalei ia tb* lonbt of th* 

kiagt tppmu la b* nihtr Xrupliylfi. wba 

««• mf Bind w ■ pMi nadw th« hBib at 


lb* print,' )-rv>ii>i» t" loitUtinD iD'I i 
<Kw li/f, Bt Ibnv (nnJrDiD*J li> ■ ]•«' 
licBUi flit b*r*AA<r. 


But a strong argnment against this being oommemoiative of 
a human sacrifice is derived from the fact of the foreigners he 
holds in his hand not being bound, but with their hands free, 
and even holding their drawn swords, plainly showing that it 
refers to them in a state of war, not as captives. It is therefore 
an allegorical picture, illustrative of the power of the king in 
his contest with the enemies of his country. 

Indeed, if from this anyone were disposed to infer the exist- 
ence of such a custom in former times, he must admit that it was 
abandoned long before the erection of any existing monument/ 
consequently ages prior to the accession of the Amosis whose 
name occurs in the sculptures — long before the Egyptians are 
mentioned in sacred history, and long before they were that 
people we call Egyptians. For it is quite incompatible with 
the character of a nation whose artists thought acts of clemency 
towards a foe worthy of record, and whose laws were distinguished 
by that humanity which pimished with death the murder even 
of a slave. 

I have, therefore, no scruple in doubting this statement 
altogether, and in agreeing with the historian of Halicamassns 
respecting the improbability of such a custom among a civilised 
people. And when we consider how solemnly the' Moslems 
declare the pillar of clay, now left at the mouths of the canals 
when opened to receive the water of the inundation, to have 
been the substitute which the humanity of Amer adopted in lien 
of the virgin annually sacrificed to the Nile at that season 
previous to the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs, we may learn 
how much reliance is to be placed on tradition, and what is 
stated to be recorded fact. For though Arab historians lived 
very near to the time when that sacrifice is said to have been 
abolished, though the pillar of earth is still retained to com- 
memorate it, and though it bears the name of Hari6oset e 
Neel, * the bride of the Nile * — all far stronger arguments than 
any brought forward respecting the human sacrifices of early 
Egypt — we are under the necessity of disbelieving the existence 
of such sacrifices in a Christian country, at the late period of 

* The learned Prichard (p. 863) thinks two knives stuck into his forehead, two is 

that a subject described from the temple his shoulders, one in his thigh, and another 

of Tentjra proves this custom to have in his body,' can scarcely be an argumeoi 

existed in Egypt. But that temple is of in favour of a human sacrifice, unless m^ 

late Ptolemaic and Roman date, and * the of that description were proved to hire 

figure of a man with the head aid ears of lived in those days. 
an asSf kneeling, and bound to a tree, with 

OHiP. XV.] 




Readi at tiitrigaen vbkli oDot nnmRl put of 
"-- ui ircUtcctaR U ICeduut H«bao 

Aj>. 638, when the religion of Islsm sopplonted that of the Cross 
on the banks of the Nile. 

That red-haired men were treated with great contempt hy the 
Egyptians is perfectly true. Bat however much their prejudices 
were excited against them, it is too mach to suppose they bought 
them unworthy to live ; and they were probably contented to 
express their dislike to foreigners, who were noted for that 
peculiarity, by applying to them some reproachful name; as 
the Chinese contemptuously de- 
signate us ' red-haired barbarians.' 
* In Egypt,' says Diodoms, ' few 
are found with red hair, among 
foreigners many.'* Such, indeed, 
was the prejudice against them, 
that ' they would not willingly 
converse with people of that 
complexion;'' and whenever they 
wished to show their contempt 
for a northern race, they repre- 
sented them on their sandals, and 
in other humiliating positions, with red hair, and of a yellow 
coloor. This contempt for strangers induced the Egyptian 
architects to introduce them supporting on their heads portions 
of boildings, as in the pavilion 
of King Kameses at Thebes, 
where they occupy the same un- 
comfortable positions generally 
given to men and monsters on 
our old churches. The idea of 
< making his enemies his foot- 
stool' is also shown from the 
Ktdptnres to have been common 
in Egypt, as in other Eastern 

The sacrifice of red oxen 
cannot fail to call to mind the law 
of the Israelites, which com- "* ™" '""' 

maoded them to ' bring a red heifer without spot, wherein was 
no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.'' According 
to Maimonides, they were so particular in the choice of it, 
that ' if only two white or black hwrs were found lying upon 

Flat. d« liid. 1. 33. 

* Komb. lii. 2. 

2 D 2 


each other, the animal was considered unfit for sacrifice;'^ 
and Herodotus^ says, that if the Egyptians 'found a single 
black hair upon the ox they were examining for that purp<»e, 
they immediately rejected it as unclean.* *They believe,' 
says the historian, 'that all clean oxen belong to Epaphus, 
and this is the reason they examine them with so much 
care. There is a particular priest for that office, who, 
when the animal is brought, examines it in every position, 
standing, and lying on its back; and having drawn out its 
tongue, he ascertains if it is free from certain marks described 
in the sacred books, which I shall mention elsewhere.^ He 
even looks if the hairs of its tail are such as they ought to be 
naturally ; and when all the requisite signs are found for pro- 
nouncing it clean, the priest marks it with his seal, after which 
it is taken to the altar ; but it is forbidden under pain of death 
to slay a victim which has not this mark.' 

His statement differs in some respects &om that of Plutarch, 
nor does the historian consider the red colour necessary to 
render it fit for sacrifice. The principal point seems to be the 
absence of those marks which characterise Apis, or Epaphus, the 
sacred bull of Memphis ; and the sculptures, as I shall presently 
show, abundantly prove that oxen with black and red spots were 
usually killed in Egypt, both for the altar and the table. 

It was lawful to slay all oxen answering to a particular de- 
scription in the sacred books; but the sacrifice of heifers was 
strictly forbidden, and in order to enforce this prohibition they 
were held sacred.* So great was their respect for this law, that 
the ' cow was esteemed more highly among the Egyptians than 
any other animal ;' ^ and their consequent horror of those persons 
whose religion permitted them to slay and eat it was carried 
so far ' that no Egyptian of either sex could be induced to kiss 
a Greek on the mouth, to make use of his knife, his spit, or his 
cooking utensils, nor even to taste the meat of a clean beast 
which had been slaughtered by his hand.' 

Aware of this prejudice, and of the consequent displeasure 
of the Egyptians in the event of their sacrificing a heifer,* the 
Israelites proposed to withdraw into the desert a distance of 
three days' journey, where they might perform the ceremony 
without openly offending against the laws of Egypt. And when 
told by Pharaoh ' to go and sacrifice,' the answer of Moses was, 

> Maimon. in lib. de Vacci ruit, o. i. * Herodot. U. 88. • In lib. iiL 28. 

* To Isis, or rather to Athor. » Herodot. U. 41.: * Ezod. tuL 26. 

Chap. XT.] 



' It 18 not meet so to do ; for we shall sacrifice the abomination 
of the Egyptians to the Lord our God : lo, shall wo siuTifiee the 
abomination of the Egyptians before their cyos, and will they 
not stone us ? We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, 
and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as He shall command us.* ^ 

It does not appear that in this instance they were ordered to 
offer a red heifer, as described in a subsequent ordinance ; ^ and 
indeed victims of that ixK*uliar descrijition, according to Maimon- 
ides, were reserved for certain occasions, nine only having been 
sacrificed from the time of Moses to * the desolation of the Second 
Temple.*' At other times the Israelites made no distinction 
between those of different colour, and their apprehensions from 
the anger of the Egyptians proceeded sohdy from their infring- 
ing a law which forbade the slaughter of any but male cattle. 
Though they were then* commande<l to slay a heifer, it is 
eTident that they too, on most occasions, wcrt; reKtrictu<l to male 
victims,* a wise regulation for the preservation of the si>ecies, 
which the legislators of Eastern nations seldom overlooked. ' In 
Egypt and Palestine,' says St. Jerome,* ' in (*ons4M|uence of the 
great scarcity of cattle, no one eats the meat of cows;' and 
Porphyry' asserts that 'the scruples of the Egyptians and 
Phcenicians were so strong on this ]>oint, that they wouhi rather 
have lived on the flesh of man than of tln^ cow.' That the 
Egyptians abstaine<i from the meat of heifers is attest«Hl by 
the anthority of anci(*nt authors and by the sculptures them- 
selves ; but we find from these last that the restriction to animals 
of a re<l colour, if really in force at any time, wa.s not genendly 
maintaine<i either in sacrifices or when re<|uired for the table. 
A black and white ox is n*prt*sented at the altars of seveml gtxls, 
even of Osiris himst*lf ; and the butcher or the c(Mik is frequently 
engaged in slaughtering spotte<l oxen, and pre|»ariiig them for 
the use of the fumilv. 

■ Eiod. Tin. 'JO. '.'7. ' Numh. liz. 2. 

* * Nine red hrifrr*/ mxa MaioKiDiileii, 
' kavt been Mrriticed ti«>twp«n the oriieinal 
MItvit of thio |>n*rv|it aii'l th« ilnmUtioii 
9i tht SemBil Temple. Our l<»rtl Muimi 
■■frififll the tir^t, (lira otfiTMl thr MK-t»Di|, 
ami MT«B tn*'Te Wf re otrrrr«l up Uunni; the 
Mriod whu'h rU|Mnl frrnn thr tiiiir of 
Em to the •li*»tru« tii-n i>i' thi' Trtiipln ; the 
UaUk KiBjC Mr««iiih himtelt' will Muhfire: 
by Hii •pec«iy maDift^tatioo He will rau«v 
|Mt jnj.* ( Maimi-D. t|o VArt'l riiA. r. :t.) 
1 4> BoC, htiwerer. iiU}>|M»iw* thi« to be taken 
litnftllj, mad wc tr»G« in it thai nfervncc 

to noinlters to ronimon in sDcirnt timet. 
[MftimuniUi's s ^trmi .It^wi^h trarh^r. wm 
born ftt (*tinlora in 1131 a.i»., sm) died 
in £|^|>t «t the a^e of «evrnty. r<|uallr 
ciiteemed by J«w« an<l ('hri<>tiAn«. — (>. W.J 

* It was |ierha|Mi to brr.ik throiiEh and 
preTent their lieioi; herfsittfr intiaronnl by 
thi« Kreat Ki^yptiAO prfjn>iu*e. 

* Lrvit. \. l\: * \j»-i him utTer .t iiiii/r 
without blemish/ ri 'iM. 

* Hiemn. adr. Jnvin. ii. 7. 

' Pfrphjr. d« Ab^tin. ii. II. Herodnt. 
ii. 41. 


Nor did any colour exempt them from labour; and black, 
white, spotted, or red oxen were indiscriminately employed in 
the plough and * all manner of service in the field.* It is there- 
fore evident, that if any restriction respecting colour actually 
existed, it was only attended to on certain occasions, or at 
peculiar ceremonies in honour of some of the gods, and perhaps 
only when worshipped in a particular character. This is the 
more probable, as we find they did not scruple to offer a coloured 
victim before the altar of Osiris, to whom the red ox was said 
to be an offering peculiarly acceptable. Certain marks may 
have excluded an animal, and have rendered it unfit for the 
altar or the table, pcurticularly if they bore any resemblance to 
those which characterised Apis ; and some oxen may have been 
forbidden in consequence of their being thought to appertain to 
Mnevis, the sacred bull of Heliopolis. 

It was, perhaps, on the occasion of sacrificing the red ox 
that the imprecations mentioned in Herodotus and Plutarch 
were uttered by the priest upon the head of the victim, which, as 
I have already observed, strongly reminds us of the scapegoat 
of the Jews ;^ and if so, this may serve to confirm my conjecture 
of that ' important ceremony being confined to certain occasions 
and to chosen animals, without extending to every victim which 
was slain.' 

According to Herodotus, *They took the ox destined for 
sacrifice to the altar ; and having lighted a fire, they poured a 
libation of wine upon the table and about the prostrate animal, 
and invoking the deity slew it. They then cut off the head and 
removed the skin from the body, and, solemnly loading the former 
with imprecations, they prayed the gods to avert all the evils 
that might have happened to their country or themselves, and to 
make them fall on that head. After which they either sold it 
to foreigners or threw it into the Nile ;^ for no Egyptian would 
taste the head of any species of animal.' 

But, as I have already shown, the Father of History is wrong 
in this assertion ; the heads of ordinary victims being commonly 
offered on the altars of the gods, and even taken with other 
joints to the kitchen. The head may not have been a fashionable 

* Lerit. zri. 21. practised by the Jewi, in which the head 

* Herodot. ii. 39. JElian lays the of a heifer was cut off for the expiation of 
Ombites gave the heads of their Tictims murder by an unknown hand, the elders of 
to the orMMxiiles. (De Nat. Animal, z. 21. the ricinity washing their hands orer the 
Plut. de Isid. s. 31.) There was a ceremony body. (Deut. zzi. 4, 6.) 


dish at a Theban dinner; but this would not imply a prohibition ; 
and it may bo said that few i>cople as refined as the Egyptians 
are in the habit of giving it a place at their table. 

The ceremony of fixing upon a pmper victim was probably 
rery similar on all occasions. Herodotus and I^utareh state that 
it was done by a class of priests, called by the Litter sphrayiitm, 
'sealers,' to whom this duty exclusively bolongiMl.* After 
having examined the animal, and ascertained that its appearance 
accorded with the prescribed rules, the priest put on a mark as a 
token of its acceptance, which was done in the following manner. 
Having tie<l a band made of the stalk of the {lapyrus round its 
horns, he applied a piece of fine clay to the knot, and stamped 
it with his seal, after which an inferior functionary conducted it 
to the altar. Henxlotus fails to inform us resjiecting the nature 
of this seal ; ' but Plutarch, on the authority of Castor, says ' it 
bore the figure of a man on his knees, with his hands tied behind 
him, and a sword pointed at his throat' 

This figuratively symbolic group I have met with more than 
once in the hieroglyphics of sculptures relating to the sacrifice 
of victims. The characters which 
refer to or explain similar cere- 
monies in the temples are generally 
phonetic, as in the commencement 
of the accom{>anying hieroglyphics, 

• .1 1 . .^ '. . Sc*l of the priMtt, ilcnifTinc that tiM 

where the word smau, signifying to rktim misht V ■uucht<««^. iMWmi. 
• slay,' acconls with the demonstrative "S^ S©*!* '^ *^"' *" 
sign following it, and recalls the 

Hebrew word $hah-^ai^ * to kill,' which it so clos<*ly resembles. 
But no oxen represented in the sculptures as victims about to 
be slaughtered have yet been found bewaring this tlcvice, though 
they frequently occur dei»ked with flowers for the o4TaMion. 

The usual mode of slaying a victim was by cutting th«* throat, 
•• was the commandment of Moses to the Israelitt^s, proluibly 
from one ear Xo the other, which is the custom of the ^loslems 
at the prc^sent day. The officiating priest gcnt^rally pla(*eil his 
hand uiMm its head,* as he drt^w the knife across its throat ; and 
if an ox or a goat, he held it by the horns, the feet having lieen 
previously tied together as it lay \x\^n the ground. Birds were 

• a€menttaTttheitoli.t«wMn^ttir*i * ^ th« •*«l» <>' »^« ^-gy|'t»•M. ^M 

!• know tht >io^x»^f f 7*^^««*« <*' thoM chftp. xTi. 

Uiuift rcUtiDg to the nt« of tlftjiif * t^HC*. 

Tictint. (Strum, tu p. li^.) * Ltrit. i. 4, iiL 8, Jtc 

408 THE AKCIEirr BaXPTIAHa [Chap. XT. 

either oETeted eatiie, or after their heads had been taken off, as 
was cnstomary in the sacrificea of the Jews, who were commanded, 
if the offering was of fowls, * to wring off the head,' and allow the 
blood to fall npon the ground at the side of the altar.* Bat this 
difference appeais to exist between the 
rites of the Jews and Egyptians, that 
in the former the sacrifice of birds was 
confined to certain occasions,^ and ia 
the latter they were commonly deposited 
on the altar with oxen and other offer- 
ings. When presented alone they were 
sometimes placed npon a portable stand 
furnished with spikes,* over which the 
bird was laid ; and the same mode of 
arranging the offerings was adopted on a 
larger scale upon the altars themselves, 
sumafiHtnriDgoiistnsL whcu filled with the profasion usually 
^"^ **'' presented at the shrines of the gods. 

It is, however, proper to observe, that the Egyptian artists may 
have intended by this drawing to represent ^e burning of the 
offering, the apparent spikes being fiames of fire, though the 
former is tetr more probable. 

Greese, the most favourite offering,* were generally trussed, 
but wading birds were frequently offered with their feathers 
unplucbed — a peculiarity occasionally extended also to geese. 
Even oxen and other animals were sometimes offered entire, 
though generally after the head had been taken off; bat it does 
not appear if this depended on any particular ceremony, or was 
confined to the rites of certain deities. 

According to Porphyry, aa quoted by Eusebios,* * there were 
gods of the earth in the Greek mytholc^, and gods of the lower 
regions, to whom four-footed victims were offered ; with this 
difference, that to the former they were presented on altars, but 
to the infernal gods in a hole made in the earth. To the gods of 
the air birds were offered, the bodies being burnt whole, and the 
blood sprinkled around the altar ; as to the sea-gods likewise : 
but for these last the libation was thrown into the waves, and the 
birds were of a black colour.'* Sometimes fruit or flowers alone 

' LsTit. i. 15. (pike* to hold offering 

* Levit. T. 7, 8 ; xii. 6, T ; uid liv. 4, * Jut. Sst. vi. 540. The round thin 

etktpopamon ocean OD all altsn. 
* Enaeb. Prtcp. Erang. I, 9. 


were presented to certain deities, as to Pomona and others ; and 
•ometimes a hecatomb was offered on great occasions, as in a 
pnblic calamity or rejoicing, and other events of importance, 
though not always confined to a hundred oxen, as the word 
implies, since the number might be ma<le up with other animals.^ 
Credulity has even tried to insist upon the story of Pythagoras 
offering a hecatomb on his demonstrating the 47th pro[>08ition of 
Euclid — a custom which, if still in vogue on that and similar 
occasions, would tend materially to increase the embarrassments 
of modem education. 

The same marked difference does not appear to have existeil 
in the sacrifices of an Egyptian temple, though peculiar forms 
M well as offerings were suited to some deities and at certain 
festivals. Even those presented at the same altar varied on 
particular occasions. 

In slaying a victim, the Egyptians suffered the blood to flow 
npon the ground, or over the altar, if placed u{)on it ; with the 
Jews it was either poured upon the ground, or purposely brought 
by the priest to be sprinkled over the horns and poured out at 
* the b<)ttom of the altar.' *^ The Egyptians were not so strict in 
reganl to the use of the blood on ordinary occasions when 
animals were slaughtered for the table as the Jews and modem 
]Io«lems, to both of whom it is forbidden by the strictest 
ordinance of religion ; ' and we even find them re[)resented in 
the kitchen catching the blood for the puriM)ses of cooking. 

The moile of cutting up the victim appears to have been the 
tame as when it was killed for the table. The head was first 
taken off, and after the skin had been removed they generally 
cut off the right shoulder,^ and the other legs and |)arts in 
foccession ; which, if re<|uireil for the table, were placed on trays 
and carried to the kitchen, or if intended for sa<*rific4^ were 
depositc*d on the altar, with fruit, cakes, and other oflerings. 

With the ( wrecks the thigh* was the |»art sel(vt<'<l as a chosen 
offering to the gmls, which was burnt on a (*lear fire of wood. 
Apollonius Uhodius also stat<^s this ; * and Luciun tells us that the 

* Horn. CM. A, 25. cnreriai; it with dant, aoJ ther arc alwar* 

* herii. ir. 7, aihl viii. 15. The Moalems icrupulou* aU<ut it* U!>i*. 

■!•▼ the animal ov«-r th*- altar-!ituo«. * Lerit. riii. 'i'*. It n «u|>poM«l to hare 

* UTit. iTii. \.\: Vihi^xtT •hunteth ^„ ,^^,^, Qi^lVT. Mhe rh.i^n * part. 
md cauhrth anr Uit-.t or fowl that may s^^^ji^^ ^h- Irfl wa. tht* fir»t Ukea off. 
W wtcB, he .hall errn poar out the blonH . ,.^^^^ .^ j^^^.^ ^^ , ^^ ^^^^ 

thcmf. aa.l coyer it with duit. The . Apollon. Rhod. hb. i. 432. 

"— '— - gc&erall/ attend to the custom of "^ 


sacrifices depended in some degree on the quality or employment 
of the person by whom they were presented, as in the first 
offering made by Cain and AbeL Thus, ' the tiller of the land 
immolated an ox, the shepherd a lamb, and the goatherd a goat. 
Some were permitted to present simple cakes or incense ; and a 
poor man made his oblations by kissing his right hand.' 

The joints and parts most readily distinguished in the sculp- 
tures are the legs, the hind-leg {fig. 1) with its thigh or upper 
joint (2), the kidneys (4), the ribs (5 and 8), the heai:t (3), the 
rump (6), the caul (7), and the liver (9) ; and those most commonly 
seen on the altars are the head, the hind-leg,^ and the ribs. When 
the Egyptians offered a holocaust they commenced with a libation 
of wine,^ a preliminary ceremony common, according to Herodotus, 
to all their sacrifices; and after it had been poured upon the 
altar, the victim was slain. They first removed the head and 
skin, a statement which, I have already shown, is fully confirmed 



Cf. <l 

No. 606. Different Joints placed on tbe altan or tlie tablet. IHebci. 

by the sculptures ; they then took out the stomach, leaving only 
the entrails and the fat ; after which the thighs, the upper part 
of the haunches, the shoulders, and the neck, were cut off in 
succession. Then, filling the body' with cakes of pure flour, 
honey, dried raisins, figs, incense, myrrh, and other odoriferous 
substances, they burnt it on the fire, pouring over it a con- 
siderable quantity of oil. The portions which were not consumed 
were afterwards given to the votaries who were present on the 
occasion, no part of the offering being left ; and it was during 
the ceremony of burning the sacrifice at the fete of Isis that 
they beat themselves in honour of Osiris. Similar to this was 
the burnt offering * of the Jews ; when * the fat, and the rump, 
and all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above 

* This in hieroglyphics signified ' power ' other Eastern tables ; but they fortnnatdy 
or ' strength.' omit the myrrh and incense, which, how- 

* Herodot. ii. 39, 40. ever well adapted to the taste of the gods, 
' This mode of filling the body with woald be by no means palatable to men. 

raisins and other sweet things recalls a * Lerit. riiL 25-28 

common dish of modem Egyptian and 


the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and the riffhi 
shoulder,' were taken together with ' one unleavened cake, a cake 
of oiled bread, and one wafer,' placed ' on the fat, and upon the 
right shoulder,' and burnt on the altar. 

Herodotus ^ describes ' the sacrifice of a pig to the moon,' in 
which ' the end of the tail, the spleen, and the caul ' were covered 
with all the fat '' that was upon the inwards,*' and then burnt, 
the rest of the victim being eaten on the day of the full moon.' 
Bat this I have already noticed, as well as the difference observed 
in the manner of making offerings to some deities.' 

llany of the religious rites of the Jews bear a striking 
resemblance to those of Egypt, particularly the manner in which 
the sacrifices were {>erformed ; it may therefore not be irrelevant 
to state the nature of some of the principal offerings mentioned 
in the Levitical law. Among the first were the holocaust or 
burnt offering, the meat offering, the sin and trespass offering, 
or sacrifice of expiation, and the peace offering, or sacrifice of 

1. The holocaust was ordered to be a bullock, a sheep, or a 
goat, a male without blemish;^ and the |)erson who offered it 
having brought it to the door of the tabernacle of the congrega* 
tion, and having put his hand upon its head, it was accepted to 
make atonement for him. He then killed it; and the priests 
taking the blood, and sprinkling it ui)on the altar of meat 
offering, flayed the victim, and cut it into pieces. The head, 
with the fat and the other parts, were laid u]X)n the wood of the 
fire which was kindled upon the altar, the legs and the inside of 
the body having been previously cleansed with water. The 
whole of it was consumed ; and neither the priests nor the 
individual who presented it were permitteil to reserve any 
portion of the sacrifice. Turtle-doves, or young pigeons, were 
also accepted as a burnt offering ; and the priest having {ducked 
the binl and wrung off its head, burnt it on the woo<l. The fire 
upon the altar was required to bum incessantly,^ and the priest 
replenished it with wood every morning, the offering being laid 
in order thereon, and the fat of the peace offering being burnt 
Qpon it. 

2. The meat offering* consisted of fine flour, with oil and 

" H«rodot. ii. 47. altar .... •h»ll not U pat oat.* • The 

* Uploon, or omeDtam. fir« fthall crrr b« bumiag upon the alUr ; 

* Htrodot. ii. 39. « Urit. i. 2. rt $tq. it »hall utxtr ico onu' 

* UTii. Ti. 13, 13: *Tha firt vpoa tha * LaTti. ti. 1. 


firankincense. The priest took a handfdl of the flonr, and a 
portion of the oil, with all the frankincense, and burnt them on 
the altar, the remainder belonging to the priest who officiated on 
the occasion. This offering was also permitted to consist of 
unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or of unleavened 
cakes anointed with oil, which might be baked either in the 
oven or the pan ; and being cut into pieces, oil was poured upon 
them, and a portion was burnt on the altar by the priest, who 
reserved the remainder for himself. No honey or leaven was 
allowed, but an abundance of salt was required in every offering 
which was burnt. In oUaiians of firstfruits no portion was 
consumed by fire. But when a meat offering of com was pre- 
sented, the grain was beaten out of full and green ears and 
dried by the fire ; and oil and frankincense being put upon it, 
part of the com and oil, with the whole of the frankincense, were 
burnt as a token or ' memorial ' of the sacrifice. 

3. A peace offering^ was from the herd, or from the sheep or 
goats, and might be either a male or female. It was killed in 
the same manner. In the holocaust all the fat that was upon the 
inwards, and the kidneys with their fat, and the caul above the 
liver, were burnt upon the altar; and it was particidarly 
commanded that no one should eat either of the fat or the blood 
of any animal. 

4. The sin offering^ was intended for the expiation of sin 
unintentionally committed. If the priest who was anointed had 
offended, he was required to bring a young bullock, and having 
placed his hand as usual upon its head, to slay it, and to sprinkle 
the blood seven times before the veil of the sanctuary. He also 
put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense 
which was in the tabernacle of the congregation, and poured all 
the remainder at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering which 
stood at the door of the tabernacle. Then taking off all the fat, 
with the caul and the kidneys, as in the peace offering, he burnt 
them upon the altar of burnt offering ; and the skin, with the 
flesh and head, the legs, and all the remainder of the bullock, 
were carried out of the camp into a clean place, where the ashes 
were poured out, and the whole was burnt. If all the people had 
offended, the elders placed their hands upon the head of the 
victim, and the rest of the ceremony was performed in the same 
manner as in the peace offering ; but if a ruler, he offered a male 

* LeTit. iii. 1, et seq. ' Leyit. ir. 1, ei aeq. 


kid, and every other indiTidual a female of the flock, either of 
iheep or goats.' 

5. The trespasi offering^ was regulated by the same law as the 
last' If anyone touched an unclean thing, or pronounced an 
oath, he was required to offer a Iamb or a kid ; or if his means 
were limited, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, one 
for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering ; or at least the 
tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering, but without 
any oil or frankincense. K anyone offended through ignorance ^ 
in the holy things, he was commanded to bring a ram, estimated 
by shekels of silver after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a 
trespass offering ; and to make amends for the offence, and to 
' add the fifth part thereto, and give it to the priest,' who made 
atonement for him with the ram. 

6. The peace offering was a voluntary return of thanks for 
benefits received, a solicitation of favours, or solely a token of 
devotion ; and it depended on the will of the individual by whom 
it was presented. The victim might be either a male or female, 
and the law only require<l that it should be without blemish. 
There were some other sacrifices very similar to those already 
mentioned — as of the high priests, which consisted of a young 
calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering ; the 
perpetual sacrific<s* a daily offering of two lambs on the 
altar of burnt offerings, one in the morning, the other in the 
evening ; and 8ome others, which it is unnecessary to enu- 
merate. There were also five sorts of offerings, called Mincha^ 
or Korban Mineha:* 1, fine flour or meal; 2, cakes of 
various kinds, bakeil in the oven ; 3, cakes bake<l on a gnddle 
or plate ; 4, cakes baked on a plate pierced with holes ; 5, first- 
fruits of new corn, offered either pure and unmixed, roasted or 
parche<l, in the ear or out of the ear : but these have been 
alreaily menti<med, as well as the offerings of bread, salt, fruits, 
wine, oil, honey, and other things includcnl under the name of 

I have also noticed the primitive nature of sacrifices, the 
probable worship of the Egyptians in their infancy as a nation, 
their early introduction of oracles, and the rites practised on 
certain <K*c'asious. 

The most usual offerings mentioninl in the sculptures, besides 

* Lnrit. W. 2*) and 32. • Urit t. 7, et ttq. • Urit. tu. 7. « Lerii. r. 15. 

* Exod. uix. SS. Momb. ziwuL S. • Urit. U. 1. 


the sacrifices of animals and birds, are wine, oil, beer/ milk, 
cakes, grain, ointment, flowers, fruit, vegetables, and yarions 
productions of the soil, which answered in some degree to the 
Mincha of the Jews. They are not only introduced upon the 
altars themselves, but are enumerated in lists or catalogues 
sculptured in the temples and tombs, some of which specify 
the day and month on which they were dedicated to the deity. 

The ordinary subjects in the interior of the temples represent 
the king presenting offerings to the deities worshipped there ; 
the most remarkable of which are the sacrifices already men- 
tioned, incense, libation, and several emblematic figures or 
devices connected with religion. He sometimes made an ap- 
propriate offering to the presiding deity of the sanctuary, and 
to each of the contemplar gods, as Diodorus' says Osymandyas 
was represented to have done; the memorial of which act of 
piety was preserved in the sculptures of his tomb. The 
historian's words are, ^Contiguous to the library stand the 
images of cUl the gods of Egypt, to each of whom the king 
presents a suitable offering, in order to show to Osiris and the 
Assessors seated below him that his life had been spent in piety 
and justice towards gods and men.' We are not, however, to 
suppose that every deity of the country was there introduced ; 
but those only who held a place among the contemplar gods 
worshipped in the city, as was the custom in all the temples and 
sacred monuments of Egypt. And though the statues he men- 
tions no longer remain, there is reason to believe that the list of 
offerings is still preserved in the innermost remaining chamber 
of the Kameseum or Memnonium, which, as I have had occasion 
to observe, has every appearance of being the monument alluded 
to by Diodorus. 

In offering incense, the king held in one hand the censer, 
and with the other threw balls or pastilles of incense into the 
flame. Then, addressing the god before whose statue he stood 
with a suitable prayer to invoke his aid and favour, he begged 
him to accept the incense he presented, in return for which the 
deity granted him *a long, pure, and happy life,' with other 
favours accorded by the gods to men. 

* [This is the ohos KpiBivos of Xeno- with wine lie on their faces, but tho^e 

phoD. Diodorus (i. 34) mentions it as * a with beer on their backs. He cites Heca- 

beverage from barley called by the Egyp- ta?ns respecting the use of beer in Egypt, 

tians zythuSy which he thinks *• not much whose words are, ras KpiBh.s cu rh wSfui 

inferior to wine.' Athenseus (i. p. 34 A ; KaraXtovat. 1 have found the residue 

X. p. 418 e) calls it * macerated barley ; ' of some malt at Thebes, once used for 

and says Aristotle supposes that men drunk making beer. — Q. W.] ' Diodor. i. 49. 


C FI'"'*'* 



[Chap. XV. 

*Offeriog of Inoeose' and 
a litMtUoa. 

Ko. 60T. 

The censer has been already noticed. A libation of wine 
was frecjuently offered together with incense ; flowers were often 
presented with them ; and many sacrifices consisted of oxen or 
other animals, birds, cakes, fruit, vegetables, ointments, and 
other things, with incense and libation. On some occasions 

two censers of incense were offered, and several 
oxen, birds, and other consecrated gifts were 
placed on the altar. And that it was customary 
to present several of the same kind is shown by 
the ordinary formula of presentation, which says, 
' I give you a thousand ($.6. many) cakes, a thou- 
sand vases of wine, a thousand head of oxen, a 
thousand geese, a thousand vestments, a thou- 
sand censers of incense, a thousand libations, a thousand 
boxes of ointment' The cakes were of various kinds. Many 
were round, oval, or triangular; and others had the edges 
folded over, like the fateereh of the present day. They also 
assumed the shape of leaves, or the form of an animal, a 
crocodile's head, or some capricious figure, and it was frequently 
customary to sprinkle them (particularly the round and oval 
cakes) with seeds. 

Wine was frequently presented in two cups. It was not 
then a libation, but merely an offering of wine;^ 
and since the pouring out of wine upon the altar 
was a preliminary ceremony, as Herodotus observes, 
conmion to all their sacrifices, we find that the 
king is often represented making a libation upon 
an altar covered with offerings of cakes, flowers, and 
the joints of a victim killed for the occasion. 

The Egyptian artists did not bind themselves 
to one instant of time in their representations of 
these subjects. The libation, therefore, appears to 
be poured over the mass of offerings collected upon 
the altar ; but the knowledge of their mode of drawing, and the 

Wine offered in two 
No. 608. 

^ [This is to be distinguished from beer, 
otvos Kpl$iyoSf * barle^r-wine ' (see suprhj 
p. 414), both of which were made in great 
quantities in Egypt. The most noted were 
those of Mareotis, Anthylla, Plinthine, 
Coptos, and the Teniotic, Sebennjtic, and 
Alexandrian ; and many were noticed in 
the offerings made in the tombs and 
temples of Egypt. Among them wine of 
the 'Northern Country' is mentioned, 
and that long before the Qreekt carried 

wine to Egypt. In later times, when the 
prejudices of the Egyptians had begun to 
relax, a trade was established with the 
Greeks, and Egypt reoeired wine from 
Greece and Phoenicia twice erery year 
(Herod, iii. 6), and many Greeks carried 
it direct to Naucratis. The wine-presses 
and offerings of wine in the tombu at the 
Pyramid! diow wine was made in Egypt 
at least as early ■• the 4th Dynasty.^ 
G. W.] 


authority of HonMldtus, explain that the lil>}iti<»u was pourccl 
oat befi>ro the ofTcrings were phiced u|Hm it ; aii<l instuiicf*:} are 
eren found in the 8cul{)ture8 of ^ • 

this prejiaratory ceremony. Two |5^ /"^y* i 4 

kinds of vases were principally 1 / ( S rrjj t^S 

used for liUition, ami the various If \^ // , / %^\ 

kinds of wine were indicated by .. -^ .. _ ^, ,„ .. 

•^ >o. C09. \ •»** uju^ fur Ut«tli.n«. 

the names affixed to them. •uifiofAnuu-j.r; 

White awl red wines, those of the Upper and Lower Country, 
gmpe-juico or wine of the vineyanl (one of the most delicious 
beverages of a hot climate, and one which is comm<mly used in 
Spain and other countries at the present day), were the most 
noted denominations introduced into the lists of offerings on 
the monuments. 

Beer and milk were also admitted A ^ t^ 

amongst them; and oils of various kinds, ^^ .^ Tli 
for which Egypt was famous, were presented ^ 

I • I 

wehvime oflerings at the shrines of the oirfhi.K or lutik. an. 

, *^ No. 6lU. 


I have alri'ady had ocoision to notice some of the gifts pre- 
8ente<l to Isis for presc^rving an individual from the danger of 
the sea ; and it is evident fri^m this, and the prayer that accom- 
panied it, that the size of the offering dei>ended on the gratitude 
of the donor for the favour he n^ceivcnl, and on the extent of 
the demand made by him for future blessings. 

Flowers were presented in diffen»nt ways; either h^osely, 
tied together by the stalks, or in can*fulIy-formed iNiuquets, 
without any other gifts. Sometimes those of a {uirticular kind 
were offereil alone, the most esteemed tN>ing the lotus, [mpyrus, 
convolvulus, and other favourite proiluctions of thi' ganlen, and 
■ometimes a tM)U(|Ui*t of ])e<*uliar fonn was presented, or two 
■mailer rmes carried in each of the donor's hands. 

Chaplets and wreaths of flowers were also hiid u|>on the 
altars, and offerinl to the deitii*s, whose statues wen* frtM|Uently 
ciowne<l with them. Th(»si* which were most grateful or useful 
to man w«Te chosen as the most acceptable to the puis: and 
the same feeling guideil them in their sideetion of herl»s and 
roots destined for tht* altar. It was prolmbly the utility, n&thur 
than the flavour, that induccHl them to show so niarkiMl a pn^ 
feience for the oni(»n, the Raphinu*^^ and cueurbitaceous plants, 

* E«Ua bj iht workmca who baili tkt Pjranitl^. 
VOL. lU. 2 IS 


ipt M p«ip«UT«. The apper pvl (a) ippeus to ba Uh paprniB; h Im t 
Ibt meUlolai. From Jig. la, n vonld Mtm thit m bcll-tonncd llowtT !■ • 
It, 4. 1, T, and »a, ■luj'baUie pipjnui and Um ibilla of (nliuiui* >ittli tbM 

MndoruplUltuTeuiliidlatlaDarilHlrtuigaUrlOnnof lU stilk. 3. Thalotu. 1. II. 11.11. 

Dtrrcnnt towiDHa. Tbe Inscrlptlin it 11 iti 13 it rUt ab m irf, ' Iht gilt of ■ bonqut to Ut 

fuh... in ._i.u — . — I a .^ s, protape the Mine »• *. 


which 80 generally found a place amongst the offerings. Their 
frequent use is equally shown by the authority of the Bible,* of 
Herodotus,^ and of the sculptures, where they appear as the 
representatives of the vegetables of the country. Wo are thus 
enabled to account for the great importance attacheil to onions, 
which, ))eing forbidden to the priests and those initiated in the 
mysteries, might appear unworthy of the gods ; and I have 
already shown the peculiar form in which they were offered 
on some occasions, the mode of decking them with garlands, 
and the remarkable circumstance of their Inking frequently 
presented by the priests who wore the leo[)ard-8kin dress. In 
ordinary offerings they were bound together in a simple bundle, 
though still made up with great care; and if instances occur 
of onions being placed on the altar singly (even in sculptures 

Fi§. 1. A b««kM of wyramore flim. X 3, 4. Hlerof Ijpbk. •ignifjlng * wife.' 5. •. ("ucnrbiU 
Lftftiuria, or KAm-towe^l. T, 8. Rftphanut MtlYva, var. fdallt. f . Ookms. 

exeouteil during the time of the 16th Dynasty), they are of very 
rare occurrence. 

Of fruits, the sycamore fig and grapes were the mc^t esteemed 
for the service of the altar. They were presented on baskets 
or trays, frequently covered with leaves to keep them fresh ; and 
sometimes the former were represented placed in such a manner, 
on an oi>en basket, as to resemble the hieroglvphic signifying 
• wife.' 

Ointm(»nt was presented in different ways, according to the 
ceremony in which it was offered. It wiw placed In? fore the 
deity in vases of alal>aster or other materials as a gift, which 
he was rfpn^sentiMl to nn^eivo with the promise of a suitable 
return to the <l(mor ; the name of the gixl to whom it was vowed 
being engravt*<l upon the vas<^ that containiMl it. Sometimes 
the king or priest t4M)k out a certain {Mirtifui to anoint the statue 
of the <leity, which was done with the little liii;r»'r of the right 

• Kumb. xi. Tk The name <»f * mi*loDt * the Hitr^kh^ y^^im . . nr w.-tter-mel"n of 

2 E 2 


hand.* Macrobius^ says, 'Those Egyptian priests who were 
called prophets, when engaged in the temple near the altars of 
the gods, moistened the ring-finger of the left hand (which was 
that next to the smallest) with various sweet ointments, in the 

belief that a certain nerve communicated 
with it from the heart.* But this pro- 
bably refers to some other religious cus- 
tom, since it is not likely that the left 
hand would be employed to anoint the 
statues of the gods ; and the sculptures 
abundantly show that the ceremony was 
performed as here represented. 

Ointment often formed part of a large 
Preparing to anoint. douatiofi, aud always entered into the list 

'*'''''*'" m^/''"**'"*^^ oi those things which constituted the 
^^' *^^- '**'*^ complete set of offerings already men- 

tioned ; and the various kinds of sweet-scented ointments used 
by the Egyptians were liberally offered at the shrines of the 
gods.^ According to Clemens, one of the most noted was the 
psaffdai^ for which Egypt was particularly famed; and Pliny 
and Athenajus both bear testimony to the variety of Egyptian 
ointments, as well as the importance attached to them; which 
is confirmed by the sculptures, and even by the vases discovered 
in the tombs. 

Eich vestments, necklaces, bracelets, jewellery of various 
kinds, and other ornaments, vases of gold, silver, and porcelain, 
bags of gold, and numerous gifts of the most costly description, 
were also presented to the gods. They constituted the riches 
of the treasury of the temples ; and the spoils taken from con- 
quered nations were deposited there by a victorious monarch as 
a votive gift for the success of his arms, or as a token of grati- 
tude for favours he was supposed to have received^ Tables of 
the precious metals and rare woods were among these offerings ; 
and an accurate catalogue of his votive presents was engraved 
on the walls of the temple, to commemorate the piety of the 
donor and the wealth of the sanctuary. They do not, however, 
properly come under the denomination of offerings to the gods, 
but are rather dedications to their temples ; and it was in pre- 

' The notion of superiority attached to of Pjthagoras, 'Take off jour right shoe 

the right hand was always remarkable, first, but put your left foot first into the 

and is now scrupulously maintained in the bath.' ' Macrob. Saturn, yii. p. 270. 

East. It calls to mind one of the precepts * Plin. xiii. 1, 3 ; Clem. Pied. ii. 8. 

Gpat. XV.] 



■enting them that some of the grand processions took place, to 
which I have already alluded. 

But it was not only customary to deposit the necklaces and 
other * precious gifts ' collectively in the temple ; 
the kings frequently offered each singly to the 
gods, decorating their statues with them, and 
placing them on their altars. 

They also presented numerous emblems, con- 
necte<l with the vows they had made, the favours 
they desircil, or the thanksgivings they returned 
to the gods : among which the most usual were a 
small figure of Truth; the symbol of the as- 
semblies,^. 1 ; acow of Athor,*>H7. 2; the hawk- ...TiiZ'^i^^'ic. 
headed necklace, ti«x» of Socharis,^. 3; a cyno- Jutiice)tohtofatb«. 
oephalus,/^/. 4; parts of dress (?),/y. 5; ointment, ^^^••'*- 
Ji^. iia and iib ; gold and silver in bags or rings, /^. 7, a and h ; 

: rfj? 7 

Nol CIS. 

/ « 

I, »«U«als uf Ihlrtjr jrivn. % m^A mmm, *||Itm % vatMHtv^^* a, vi m*. 'cIvm • eolUr/ 

m Msavr. S. icift of tlDMi. •«. Rtft of ■ng««t«; • *. gift uf oMOKCwt. T «. f«l m^ 'give* guU i* 
f K ral *i<f, * givM «llT«r.' s, gift vf lleU)i. 

' la li«tt uf A cttUir, or iu cuunt«r|Hii««. 



[Chap. XV. 

three feathers or heads of reeds, the emblem of a field, jig, 8 ; a 
scribe's tablet and ink-stand,^. 9, a and i; a garland or wreath, 

^u. 616. 

Emblematic offerings. 
1 1 . Soq ta het, -* brings along white bread.' 

Jig. 10 ; and an emblem of pyramidal form, perhaps the seal or 
key of the sanctuary,^. 11. 

Thanksgivings for the birth of a child, escape from danger, 
or other marks of divine favour, were offered by individuals 
through the medium of the priests. The same was also done 
in private ; and secret as well as public vows were made in the 
hope of future favours. The quality of these oblations depended 
on the god to whom presented, or the occupation of the donor : 
a shepherd bringing from his flocks, a husbandman from his 
fields, and others according to their means; provided the 
offering was not forbidden fey the rites of the deity. But 
though the Egyptians •considered •certain oblations suited to 
particular gods, others inadmissible to their temples, and some 

more peculiarly adapted to prescribed periods 
of the year, the greater part of the deities 
were invoked with similar offerings; and in 
large sacrifices the same things were laid on 
all the Egyptian altars, with the exception 
of those expressly forbidden in particular 

Sistra were often held forth, generally by 
the queens and princesses, in the presence of 
the gods, as well as the emblematic instru- 
ments, surmounted by the head of Athor ; and 
the privilege of bearing them in the temples 
was principally confined to those who held ithe oflSce oi paUdkides, 
They frequently presented flowers at the same time that they 
performed the peculiar rites required on this occasion. 

A singular ceremony is frequently represented of the king 
retiring from the presence of the god, to whom he has been 

Ar M'af en Uf^ * gives 

sistra to bis fatber.' 
No. 617. 2%e6e«. 


perfurmiDg a libation, and holding in hia hand an emblem 
which, from il8 appearance, is supposed to bo a tail. He 
always looks buck as be with- 
draws ; and the same is done 
by the pritnts when officiating 
on a similar occusitm. It is 
evidently not the tail worn by 
the king takun off and hold 
in hia hand, since he is re])rc- 
sented wt-aring it daring the 
ceremony; and it diflfera also 
in form from that portion of 
the n>yul drvss. 

Sometimes a number of 
persons are seen beating them- 
aelTes before the mummy of a dead jterson, nndcr the luoal form 
of Osiris ; anil another retires holding one or even two of theie 
emblems in his hand. But even this appears to be connected 
with a libation, which is performed in the compartment below, 
as part of the same stdcmnity in honour 
of the deceased. The custom of beat- 
ing themselves in token of grief is 
frequently mentioned by Herodotus, 
who explains* that it was upon the 
breast, as throughout the East from 
the earliest times* to the present day ; 
and thb is fully confirmed by the 
monmnents themselves. [The custom of wi'vpiii;; ami thn)wing 
dust on tkfir hfuds is often reprcscuti-d on the nionumonts ; when 
the men and women have their dresses (astemil by u band round 
the waiat, the breast being bare, as dcsorilHt) by Herodotus. 
For seventy days,' or, according to B«>mt>, st-vt-nty-two days, the 
iiunily mourned at home, singing the funeral ilirge, very much 
as is now dune in Kgypt; and during this time they abstuinml 
from the Iwth, wine, delii-aeit-s of the tulile. and rich clothing;* 
and even aftiT the IhmIv had been n-mov<il to llic tomb it was not 
nnusuul for the near n'lations to exhibit tokens of grief, when the 
litargi(>H, i>r serviit-s for the dead, wep- ]H>rfi>niii-<i by the jirieittB, 
by beating themselves on the breast in prew -m-i- of the mummy. 



[Chap. XV. 

No. 620. A l&mp. Hubet, 

* Smiting themselves on the breast*^ was a common token of grief 
in the East, which continues to the present day. (See woodcut 
No. 619.) The Egyptians did not *cut themselves' in mourning ; 
this was a Syrian custom, and forbidden to the Jews. — G. W.] 
Another remarkable oflfering, if indeed it be distinct from 

the usual censer, is apparently a lamp 
made of glass, with a wick erect in the 
middle; which last is- sometimes taken 
out and held separately, as though the 
bearer were about to place it in the vase 
previous to its being lighted.*^ The same 
form is given to the flame of the censers 
wherein the incense is burnt. 

There is also a ceremony which appears to have some con- 
nection with the dead, the purport of which it is di£Scult to 

ascertain.. Two persons, a man 

fl /4!^ ^^^ ^ woman,, hold the opposite 

c^ f^ !^ pli ®^^^ ^^ * cord,, fastened in a knot 

around the centre of a pillar of 
wood, which, held in an upright 
position, is struck against the 
ground, the lower end being 
pointed, the upper round. It may 
be connected with some religious 
rite, or be one of their numerous 
games. [But it seems to be con- 
nected with the twisted rope in 
the mysterious ceremonies of the 
dead mentioned by Diodorus, in speaking of the lake, <S:c., at 
Memphis. There, however, one end of the rope was twisted, and 
the other untwisted, by other persons. — G. W.] 

* The Egyptians,' says Herodotus,^ * are very religious, sur- 
passing all men in the honours they pay to the gods.' * The art 
of predicting future events, as practised in Greek temples, came 
from Egypt; and it is certain that they were the first people 
who established festivals, and the mode of approaching and 
communing with the Deity.'* Of the customary mode of doing 
this I have already spoken ; and while praying or presenting 

No. 621. A game or ceremony. Thebes. 

* Luke xxiii. 48. 

^ This wick may have stood upright in 
the salt mentioneii by Herodotus in the 
lamps at Sals. The lines may represent 

the twisted nature of the cotton wick» a< 
thev do the watering of the glass va>e. 
(Hen>dot. ii. 62.) 

» Herodot. ii. 37. * Ibid. ii. 58. 


No. 632. An iittlta<l«urailorAik>n. Tkebet. 

offerings, it will be seen from the sculptures that the kings and 

priests either stood with uplifted hands, or knelt before the 

statae of the god (usually on one knee). They bowed before 

it in token of respect, ' lowering the hand to the knee ;* which, 

Herodotus^ says, was their man- 

ner of saluting each other when 

they met. They also put the 

hand u]Hm tlie breast, as is the 

modern custonx in the East, or 

bowed down with one or both 

hands to tlio level of the knee ; 

and sometimes placed one haad 

over the mouth*^ But the usual 

mode of standing in the presence 

of a superior was with one hand 

passed across, the breast to the 

opposite shouldei;; they then 

bowe<l, lowering the other to the 

knee; and the same position of 

the hand ujK)a the shoulder was adoptcnl when d<*precating 


Sometimes, libations were performed by j»rie8ts kneeling on 
one or both laiees, and other tokens of honour were shown to 
the go<l8; but prcistration' seems seldom to liave b(^n rt»quired 
in the temple. We only fijul two instancM^s of a votary in this 
attitude, both of which are in the scul])tures at Phihe,^ of 
Ptolemaic date, where the king, prostrate uixm the ground, 
wor8hi|)S tlio goddess Isis, apparently as a preliminary ceremony 
previous to his. being admitted to ilw presenct* of Osiris. 

It is not a subject seen in any Egyptian temple of Pharaonic 
time ; and tliis extnujrdinar}' show of devotion in the ( rreek king 
was probably inten«Ie<l to flatter the priesthiMMl, and obtain an 
influeniH* which, those foreigners often fouinl it prudent to eourt. 

The system of rendering n»ligiou 8ul»servient t4) ambitious or 
intere8te<l views, in of all eras an<l every country. I>ut pret«*nd«Ml 
tanctity generally betrays its real motive ; and w(» fnMju«»ntly 
discover, in tlu* marks of favour U»stowt»d bv the Ptoh^mies 
on tho religion of Egypt, a straintMl and unnatural display of 

• l|rriHli»l. ii. H«». 

' Thi« ««»« I u«t>>inarr h\u> id IVmia. 
Tht uh|f*«-t w.i« to pri'rfDt th« breath 
nMchiDi; thv Uki *>( a ftU|M>rior. 

' Ib tht i»rrM.DC« of tuficriort the/ 

* bi»w^l tht' kii»*«',* nn-l rv«»n |ir*»«tratt^i 
thflllMflvf^ i*D thf i^riillDtl. (<irn. ill. 4H, x\i\. 
6, mn'\ iliii. >>. ('«>of. Mutt, iriii. >> > 

* Th« ftniii# «N,'iir« ID th« TtMlriuaic 
icul|>turi*« At thtf < 04»if. 


(levotioD, tho contrast of which with the simplicity and real 
feeling of ancient times cannot fail to strike those who compare 
the mouiimeiits of the two eras. 


'uKiml I'mecMiriDi— Trial* of 
— Ssroojiliagi — Pa|>)Ti| 4o. 

The oflcrings made to the dead wi^ra similur tu tlio ordinary 
oblations in Uunour of the gods. It waa not to tin; deceased as 
a man translutetl to the order of the ^lAa th»t these ceremouies 
were performed, but to that particular imrtiuii of the divine 
essence which coustitut«d the soul of eueh individual ami 
returned to the Deity after death. KvtTvono, thi'rel'ore, whose 
virtuous life entitled hizii to admisMiou into the re^rjons of the 
b]e88e<l, wax supposeil to lie again united to the Deity, of whom 
he was an eniamitioB ; and, witb the euibh-m of Ma, [turj>ort- 
ing that lie was judp-d or just)tie<i, he ri'ivivtil the holy name 
of Osiris. His hotly was so bound u|> as to restmible the 
mysterious ruler of Anienti ; it bore some of the cnibk-ms jN-euIiar 
to him ; and the beanl of a form whirh U'lon-rt-il exi-lusivfly tu 
the gixls was given to the deeeiised in toki'U of his having 
■•suuie<l the eharaeter of that deity. 

Offerings wire also made to tho g>Ml Osiris hinis«-lf, after the 
burial, in thu name of the deeeaM-<l : an<l ■■•■rtain servic-ea or 
liturgii-s well) jM'rfonued for him by the |>rii-sls. at the e.^jM'Use 
of tha family ; their number deju-nding uimu their means, or the 
re^itect they were iuoUued tu |iay to the memory of their {Hirent. 



[Chap. XVI. 

If the sons or relations were of the priestly order, they had the 
privilege of officiating on these occasions ; and the members of 
the family had permission, and were perhaps frequently expected, 
to be present, whether the services were performed by strangers 
or by relations of the deceased. The ceremonies consisted of a 
sacrifice, similar to those offered in the temples, vowed for the 
deceased to one or more gods, as Osiris, Anubis, and others con- 
nected with Amenti; incense and libation were also presented, 
and a prayer was sometimes read> the relations and friends being 

4 3 2 1 

The members of the family (3, 4, 5) present wh«n the services were performed (2) 
No. 624. * The skilful scribe, Alien ' (1). 


present as mourners. They even joined their prayers to those 
of the priest ; and embracing the mummied body, and bathing 

its feet with their tears, they uttered 
those expressions of grief and praises 
of the deceased which were dictated by 
their feelings on so melancholy an 

The priests who officiated at the 
burial service were selected from the 
grade of pontiff^ who wore the leopard- 
skin ; but various other rites were per- 
formed by one of the minor priests to 
the mummies previous to their being 
lowered into the pit of the tomb, as well 
^a:i:i::t:^:^-:tnl^'r^ as after that ceremony. Indeed they 
His wife who loves him, Ncbenni/ contiuued to bc admiuistcrcd at intervals, 

No. 625. Thehes. xT i» -l • l i« xi • 

as long as the tamily paid for their 
performance ; and it is possible that upon the cessation of this 
payment, or after a stipulated time, the priests had the right of 

Cbat. XTL] 



transferring the tomb to another fomily, which, as I hare already 
obaervecl, the inscriptions within them shiiw to have been dono, 
eren though belrmging to members of the pri(>stly nritcr. 

^\'heQ the mummies 
remained in the house, 
or in the chamber of 
the sepulchre, they were 
kept in movable vaxl- 
en closets, with folding 
doon, out of which 
they were taken by the 
minor functionaries to a 
■mall altar, before which 
the priest officiated. 
The closet and tho 
mummy were placed on 
a sledge, in onler to 
facilitate their move- 
ment from one place 
to another ; and the 
latter was drawn with 
lopes to the altar, and 
taken back by the same 
means when tho cere- 
mony was over. On 
these occasions, as in 
the prayers for the dead , 
they made the iisnal 
offerings of incenne ai>d 
libation, with cakes, 
flowers, and fruit ; and 
eren anointed the mum- 
my, oil or ointment be- 
ing iMiurctI ' over its 
head. Sometimes sevt*- 
nl priests attended. 
One carri<><I a napkin 
over his shoulder, to be 
oaed after the anointing 
of the mummy ; another brought a iMpyriM 

till containing a 

■ CmT. 3 Elagi ii. 3: -Tkh* U* boi af uU, mJ puur it m hu bwd.' 


prayer, or tlie iisual ritual deposited in the tombs with the dead ; 
and others had different occupations according to their respective 
offices. They were not of the order of pontiffs, but an inferior 
grade of priests deputed to per- 
form similar duties in lieu of the 
high priests, who, as already stated, 
officiated only at the burial, or on 
other important occasions. 

Single oblations of various 
kinds were made to the mummies 
by individuals of the family as 
_ well as by the priests ; but many 
n_J „ ,,. V I , -,." 11.. of tbe ceremonies, as well as the 
prtrBf^B i)iiM ■ Mpkin on 111. ibonuer. emblematic offerincis, were of a 

Fig. i Soldi 11 pmpjmn. The mode of placing o ' 

theii.iiiiiniirrm.ritibie,beingti»MDwuiiow Bmeular kind, the meamnc of 

WMhlng their huirH beBm mealL ^ _ _ , which it is difficult tO Comprcheud. 
No. «ar. TambatnAa. r- , , , 

One of these last has the appear- 
ance of some kind of instrument. It occurs in the names of 
several kings in the sense of 'chosen,'' or 'approved; ' and is 
probably intended to point out the excellence of the gifts selected 
for the deceeised, being used as the demonstrative sign accom* 
panying the ' chosen part ' of the sacrifices in the temples and 
the tombs. 

It is probable that lamps were kept burning in the tomb while 
theae ceremonies were performing, or as long as it was open, as in 
the Roman sepulchres ; a duty which fell to the charge of the 
keeper or servant of the tomb. 

These funeral oblations answer exactly to the inferix OTparen- 
talia of the Bomans, consisting of victims, flowers, and libations 
when the tomb was decked with garlands and wreaths of flowers, 
and an altar wtis erected before it for presenting the offerings. 
And that this last was also done by the Egyptians is proved by 
the many small altars discovered outside the doors of the cata- 
combs at Thebes. 

These altars are of stone, frequently granite or basalt ; * and 
upon them are carved in bas-relief the various offerings they 
bore, which are the same as those represented in the paintings 
of the tombs. At one side projects a small spout, to which a 
channel, carried round the inside, is intended to convey the 

Caa. XVI.] 



liquid of the libations ; and some with two spouts nrc of a larger 
size, and intended for a greater number of offerings. I)<>ing very 
low, each was placed on a small pedestal or stool, wliich has been 
found, together with the flat altar stone it nncc eupiwrted, as 
figured on the monu- 
ments. The channel 
around the altar stone 
calls to mind the 'trench' 
made by Klijuh ' round 
about the altar ' at Mount 
Carmel ;' though the ob- 
ject was not the same, the 
water with which this was 
filled being inU-nded to 
prore the miraculous in- 
terferenee of the Deity, 
when the fire that 'con- 
sumed the burnt sacrifice 
licked up the water in Hie 
trench,' and tliut of the j^ 
Egyptian altar being ''''■ "" 
merely intendo<l to carry ofi'tbe libation poured ujton it. 

It is pnilmblo that when any of the sacenlotal caste die<I, 
whose families could not afford the expense of the liturgies, 
certain cuUections' were made to pay for their performance; 
which, being dejxmited in the hands of the priests, adde<l in no 
inconsiilerable degree to their revenues. And the fact, as Young 
obaer\'es, ' that one moiety of a thir<l [wirt of the co11<M-tioiis for 
the dead (jiriests of Osiris), lying in Thynabunun.' wlicn s'dd by 
* Onnophris, one of the servants of the goddess Isis,' requireil no lees 
than sixtet-n witnes-ses, plainly proves the value of this privilege. 

> 1 KiDK* iTiii. .1.; '1 K-f. : ■ AnJ h< di>.I* 


B I'm. iiir. 

a tmuh oboDt thr mltar. ■• rtmI w vuuM 

U. rrvmlS. 

.nl. -.D-HTinitt 

the CMhu of 

w«Ulsl-'>m.«ur....f««l. Ai»lh<pat 

Ihr UtiD'. 

1 nnnM in thl< 

pUre frfrmia 

tk* wou-l la Knl-r. tii'l r<i( th( buIWk id 

frnm «.l.liBi! 

1IT hiimhlr tr. 

monT tn (hi 

picori. U1.I \M him ..B the •.«.[, mail «i.l, 
nil {<m l»m-1. {|«il.) wilh w.l«. iBd 

ur lriD<Uii"n 

nf th.- llihU : 

which i> rh' 

DC, ■• it «U 

poor it an ihc biimt rurilin, n4 on th* 

AoBt wilhoiil 


-h .B iBiiehl 

wtd An.) th» w*l« »D i™n.l 

Ul-r tl...t4 

•boat the *llu ; ua h« lillcl the trrnch 


>Ih with -Mrr Tbm th* H« ..f 

■il|^..v. io 11 

'f-c. lilTi- 

turf.-'if. ■■•■> 

.:%:*- |Th» 

r|^t oamhrr 

McnHrp, iDl thf WN.I. >D.I the >t»no«. 



Ud th' .U.i, >s.l iKk^l up Ihf wil'r 

thai I'ri"! 

f-ur vol I wt« 


The woiJ s. il 
I tht llebrrw OTip. <kJ>'>"t 


Diodorus and the papyri show that it was not an uncommon 
thing to keep the mummies in the house, after they had been 
returned by the embalmers to the relations of the deceased, in 
order to gratify the feelings which made them desirous of having 
those they had loved in life as near them as possible after death. 
Damaseenius states that they sometimes introduced them at 
table,^ as though they could enjoy their society ; and Lucian, in 
his essay on grief, says that he was an eye-witness of this custom. 
They were sometimes left in the house until the family could 
prepare a tomb for their reception ; and the affection of a wife or 
husband frequently retained the body of a beloved consort, in 
order that both might be deposited at the same time in their 
final resting-place. A room was set apart for the purpose, the 
coffin being placed upright against the * firmest of the walls.' ' 
Many months often elapsed between the ceremony of embalming 
and the actual burial ; and it was during this period that the 
liturgies were performed before the mummy, which were after- 
wards continued at the tomb. A Greek inscription upon the 
coffin of a mummy, found by Grey, states that *Tphous, the 
daughter of Heracleus Soter and Sarapous, who was bom in the 
5th year of Adrian our lord, the second of Athyr, and died in the 
11th year, the 10th of Tybi, aged six years, two months, and 
eight days, was buried in the 12th year, the 12th of Athyr;* so 
that in this instance the burial took place a whole year after her 
death,^ and some were doubtless kept, for various reasons, much 
longer. It was during this interval that feasts were held in 
honour of the dead, to which the friends and relations were 
invited ; as was customary among the Greeks and other people 
of antiquity.* 

On these occasions they dined together, and enjoyed the same 
festivities as when invited to a repast, the guests being in like 
manner anointed and decked with flowers, and presented with 
other tokens of welcome usual at an Egyptian party ; and it was 
principally at this veKpohelirvoV that I suppose the introduction 
of the mummy to have taken place. 

Small tables made of reeds or sticks, bound together and 

* Silius Italicus, Punic, lib. iii. were called iraffro^6poi, (Vide woodcut 

* Diodor. i. 92. The word \ipva^ No. 195, fig, 4, vol. i. p. 419 ; and «^r«, 
may apply to the coffin or mummy-case, or p. 444, wooden t No. 631.) 

to the closet above mentioned. They bore ' Tonng, * Hierog. Lit.,' p. 115. 
some resemblance to the thdlami or irao^ol, * Hom. II. Y, 9. Achilles invites the 
in which the small firares of the gods Myrmidons to supper in honour of Pa- 
were carried ; whence the bearers of them troclus. 

Cbaf. XVL] offerings to the dead. 433 

interlaced with palm-leaves, were sometimes placed in the tombs, 

bearing offerings of cakes, ducks, or otlier tilings, according to 

the wealth or inclination of the donors ; one of which was found 

at Thebes by Burton, and is now in the British Museum. On 

the lower compartment, or shelf, are cakes; the central shelf 

has a duck, cut open at the breast and spread out, ' but not 

divided asunder,'^ in a 

manner frequently adopted 

at this day in Egypt for 

grilling fowls and chickens ; 

and at the top is a similar 

binly trus8e<l in the usual 

mode when brought to an 

Egyptian table. Similar 

offerings ' for the dead ' 

were strictly forbidden by 

the law of Moses ;' and it 

J I ▲! A I Til X* A Ubl« fooDd in A tomb by liurton. un wLkh art a 

was aOUbtieSS tlie iligy ptian dock matta aod AnuUxr cut open, with calm. 

custom that the Hebrew ^"••'•- BntukMu^n. 

legislator had in view when he introduced this wise prohibition. 

Though the privilege of keeping a mummy in the house was 
sanctioned by law and custom, care was always taken to assign 
some plausible reason for it, since they deeme<l it a great privi* 
lege to be admitted to the repositories of the dead, as their final 
resting-place. To be debarred from the rites of burial reflected 
a severe disgrace upon the whole family ; and the most influential 
individual could not be admitted to the very tomb he had built 
for himself, until acquitteil before that tribunal which sat to 
judge his (*x)nduct during life. 

In cases of debt, a cc^rtiiin law, enactinl, acconling to Herodotus, 
by King Asycliis, subjected the tomb to a claim from the ennlitors 
of the deceiuied, who ha<l the right to pn»vent tin* Inxly of a 
debtor from l>eing buried with his fathers ; and this hiw even put 
the former in possession of the family sepulehre. 

The tombs of the rich consistetl of one or more (chambers, 
omamenteil with paintings and sculpture, the plans an<l size of 
which depende<l on the expense incumnl by ttie family of the 
deceased, or on tlie wishes of the individuals wlio purehiLscKl them 
during their lifetime. They were the prt>in*rty of the priests; 
and a suflicient number being always kept ready, tht* purchase 

» Urit. i, 17 • iHruU ixri. U. 

▼OL. UL 2 F 


was made at the 'shortest notice;* nothing being requisite to 
complete even the sculptures or inscriptions but the insertion of 
the deceased's name, and a few statements respecting his fieimily 
and profession. The numerous subjects representing agricultural 
scenes, the trades of the people, in short the various occupations 
of the Egyptians, were already introduced. These were common 
to all tombs, varying only in their details and the mode of their 
execution ; and were intended as a short epitome of human life, 
which suited equally every future occupant. 

It has been a question why the Egyptians took so much care 
in embellishing their sepulchres, * styling them,* as Diodorus* 
tells us, ' eternal hahitatianSy and neglecting no excess of magnifi- 
cence in their construction, whilst they termed the dwellings of 
the living innSy to be inhabited only for a limited period, paying 
little attention to the mode of building or ornamenting them.' 
Some have supposed that they considered the soul conscious of 
the beauty of these abodes, and that it took a pleasure in con- 
templating the scenes it delighted in during its sojourn upon 
earth, which were represented on their walls. The same idea 
may be traced in the writings of Plato,' who puts these words 
into the mouth of Socrates : — * Death seems to me nothing else 
than the dissolution of two things, viz. of the soul and body 
from each other. But when they are mutually separated, each 
possesses its own habit not much less than when the man was 
living, the body conspicuously retaining its own nature, attire, 
and passions. So that, for instance, if the body of anyone while 
living was large by nature or aliment, or both, the body of such 
a one when dead will also be large ; . . . . and so with respect 
to other things. And if anyone while living was studious to 
obtain long hair, the hair also of the dead body of such a one 
will be long ; . . . . and if the limbs of anyone were broken or 
distorted while he lived, these will likewise appear so when he 
is dead. In short, whatever was the condition of the body of 
anyone while living, such will be its condition entirely, or for 
the most part, during a certain time, when dead. The same 
thing also, Callicles, seems to take place respecting the soul, 
viz. that all things are conspicuous in the soul after it is 
divested of the body, as well whatever it possesses from nature, 
as those passions which the man acquired in his soul from his 
various pursuits.' A still closer resemblance is found in the 

» Diodor. i. 51. « Plato, Gorgias, pp. 453, 454. 


description given by Virgil of the occupations of those who in 
a future state were admitted to the abode of the blessed.^ The 
same notion would account for the custom of burying different 
objects with the dead, which had belonged to them during life ; 
as arms with the soldier, and the various implements of their 
peculiar trade with the bodies of artisans. Thus jEneas selected 
suitable objects for the sepulchre of Misenus.' But another 
reason also suggests itself ifor this custom — the supposed retnm 
of the soul to the same body after the lapse of a certain period 
of years, which I shall have occasion to notice in treating of 

In some instances all the paintings of the tomb were finished, 
and even the small figures representing the future occu]>ant were 
introduced, those only being left unsculptured which being of a 
large size required more accuracy in the features in order to give 
his real portrait ; and sometimes even the large figures were 
completed before the tomb was sold, the only part^ left unfinished 
being the hieroglyphic legends containing his name and that 
of his wife. Indeed the fact of their selling old mummy-cases 
and tombs belonging to other persons shows that they were not 
always over-scrupulous about the likeness of an individual, pro- 
Tided the hieroglyphics were altered and contained his real name 
— at least when a motive of economy reconciled the mind of a 
purchaser to a seeond-^hand tenement for the body of his friend. 

The tomb was always prepared for the reception of a husband 
and his wife ; and whoever died first was buried at once there, or 
was kept embalmed in the house until the decease of the other, 
as I have already had occasion to obser^'e. The manner in 
which husband and wife are always portraye<l, with their arms 
roond each other*s waist or neck, is a pleasing illustration of the 
affectionate feelings of the Egyptians ; and the attachment of a 
family is shown by the presence of the different relations, who 
are introduced in the performance of some tender office to the 
deceased. Each is said to ' love,' or to * be loved bv him ; ' and 
when children died, they were buried in the same tomb with 
their parents. 

Any i)ers(»n desirous of purchasing a tomb for himself, or for 
a deceased friend, applied to those who were known to have them 
for sale, and the parties procee<led to view them and make a 
selection. The bargain, no doubt, took the usual time occupied 

• Virj. £a, ri. 63S, 653. » Ibid. n. ni. 

2 p 2 


on such occasions in the East ; but notwithstanding all the efforts 
of the purchaser, the advantage was greatly on the side of the 
sdlevy who profited by the wants of the former, as well as by 
immense profit on a small outlay ; and no competition could 
be expected among the priests, who enjoyed this privileged 
monopoly. When the bargain had been agreed to, a deed was 
carefully drawn up to secure to the purchaser the property he 
had bought ; and some idea may be formed of the precautions 
taken by the Egyptians to prevent any future question upon the 
subject by the nimiber of witnesses required for the smallest 
contracts. And, judging from the minute repetition of expres- 
sions, and the precision witn which the acceptance of the price 
was acknowledged, we may conclude that they were as ready to 
take advantage of the least flaw in a deed as any people of 
the present day. 

Besides the upper rooms of the tomb, which were ornamented 
with the paintings already mentioned, were one or more pits, 
varying from twenty to seventy feet in depth, at the bottom or 
sides ^ of which were recesses, like small chambers, for depositing 
the coffins. The pit was closed with masonry after the burial 
had been performed, and sometimes re-opened to receive other 
members of the family. The upper apartments were richly 
ornamented with painted sculptures, being rather a monument 
in honour of the deceased than the actual sepulchre ; and they 
served for the reception of his friends, who frequently met there 
and accompanied the priests when performing the services for 
the dead. Each tomb, and sometimes each apartment, had a 
wooden door, either of a single or double valve, turning on pins, 
and secured by bolts or bars, with a lock ; which last was pro- 
tected by a seal of clay, upon which the impress of a signet was 
stamped when the party retired, as Herodotus describes at the 
treasury of Ehampsinitus. Eemains of the clay have even been 
found adhering to some of the stone jambs of the doorways in 
the tombs of Thebes ; and the numerous stamps buried near 
them were probably used on those occasions. 

It may be a question whether these stamps were really seals 
by which the impressions were made upon the clay, because 
the characters upon them are in relief, and because their edges 
are sometimes raised unequally around their faces, both arguing 

1 *■ Whose tombs are in the aide of the pit ;* and the common expression in the 
Bible, * They that go down to the pit,' meaning those that die. (Ezek. xxxii. 29, &c.) 


that they had been impressed with another seal. Wc even find 
them of a square form, with a stamp on all the sides, and made 
of the same materials ; which is a clay mixed with fine ashes, and 
afterwards burnt, the exterior being of a finer quality than the 
inside. It may also be said that the red ochreous colour with 
which they are sometimes stained, was imparted to tliem from 
the seal that stamped the impression ; though, on the other 
hand, as the colour frequently extends half-way up the whole 
length, it is evident that they were dipped into this red mixture 
for some purpose. Again, if they were mere impressions, and 
not used as seals, it is diflScult to understand the reason of their 
being so stamped and buried near the tombs — unless, indeed, 
they were passports from the family, or the priest who had the 
superintendence of the tomb, to permit strangers to visit it. 

Vm, CM. 8Mb fovnd netf tb« iom\m at Thetes. 

1. 1. IwUnoM or MAlt wttJi ralMd edm nmnd the •toB|Md part. S. AnoChrr tUloKd wl»h nd 
ochrv fhNB aUib. 4. Htyto of Um> luMrfpikiiM oo Mine of tbem :-• NVfrrbeip tbe Ja^citM. fotuth 
of Ancn. aad hU wilt AaMiibct|», Um lady of th» hooM.' ». A brkk tunpcd In a ttmilar 

They generally bear the name of the jn^rson of the adjacent 
tomb, with that of his wife, and sometimes the same characters 
occur on different ones, which vary also in size. They are mostly 
of a conical shaiw, about a foot in length, the circular face bearing 
the inscripticm \mng about three inches in diameter;* and they 
appear to be made for holding in the hand, and for giving rather 
than receiving an impression. The characters were prolwibly first 
put upon them, when unbumt, from a mould. This they after- 
wards im]>arted to the chiy seals ; and the nnl liquid into which 
they were dipjKMl wjis intende<l t4) pn^vent their a<lhering. 

Similar seals were use<l for securing the (hK)rs of temples, 
houses, and granaries. 

Tomlw were built of brick and stone, (»r hewn in the ruck, 
according to the ]M)sition of the n<H*n>{M»lis. Whenever the 

* Serrral ar* m^t with in th« linluh toine to kaT# b««D work««i into tk# ornn- 

MoMnm aod other Kuropeao cun«<>tioBs. mraUl archiUs-turv, <»r tite to mark the 

[TlMtr ttt« u ft'»t «|uit« cvrUia. They ar« Mtt of the ••f.uU hrw.— ii. U] 
•ftiy fooad at Thcb«a, ud »op|MM«| bj 


mountains were sufficiently near, the latter was preferred; and 
these were generally the most elegant in their design and the 
Tariety of their sculptures, not only at Thebes, but in other parts 
of Egypt. Few, indeed, belonging to wealthy individuals were 
built of masonry, except those at the Pyramids in the vicinity 
of Jilemphis. 

The sepulchres of the poorer classes had no upper chamber. 
Tlie coffins were deposited in pits in the plain, or in recesses 
excavated at the side of a rock, which were closed with masonry, 
as the pits within the large tombs. Mummies of the lower orders 
were buried together in a common repository ; and the bodies of 
those whose relations had not the means of paying for their 
funeral, after being * merely cleansed by some vegetable decoc- 
tions, and kept in an alkaline solution for seventy days,' ^ were 
wrapped up in coarse cloth, in mats, or in a bundle of palm- 
sticks, and deposited in the earth. 

Some tombs were of great extent ; and when a wealthy in- 
dividual bought the ground, and had an opportunity during a 
long life of making his family sepulchre according to his wishes, 
it was frequently decorated in the most sumptuous manner. 
And so much consequence did the Egyptians attach to them, 
that people in humble circumstances made every effort to save 
sufficient to procure a handsome tomb, and defray the expenses 
of a suitable funeral. This species of pomp increased as refine- 
ment and luxury advanced; and in the time of Amasis and 
other monarchs of the 26th Dynasty the funeral expenses so far 
exceeded what it had been customary to incur during the reigns 
of the early Pharaohs, that the tombs of some individuals far 
surpassed in extent, if not in splendour of decoration, those of 
the kings themselves. 

Many adorned their entrances with gardens, in which flowers 
were reared by the hand of an attached friend, whose daily care 
was to fetch water from the river, or from the wells on the edge 
of the cultivated land ; and I have myself found remains * of 
alluvial soil brought for this purpose, and placed before some 
of the sepulchres at Thebes. 

It is reasonable to suppose that in early times the tombs were 
more simple and of smaller dimensions ; which is proved by the 
appearance of those at Thebes, and in the vicinity of Memphis. 

> Herodot. ii. 8S. This ib confinned by — S. B. 
the later Ptolemaic tablets, which mention * I hare indicated some of these in 07 
seventy days as the time of embalmment. * Survey of Thebes.' 

Cbap. XVL] early tombs. 439 

The tombs in the rock at the Necropolis of Thebes, of the time 
of Amcnophis I. and other early monarchs of the 18th Dynasty, 
were smaller and more simple than those made at the close of 
that dynasty ; and this display in the mo<le of decorating them 
and extending their dimensions continued to increase to the 
time of Amasis, when, as Herodotus states, the wealth of Egypt 
far surpassed that of any previous period. But as a detailed 
description of them would encroach too much on the limits of 
this work, I must be contented for the present with referring to 
my ' Toi>ography of Thebes ;* where I have 8]M)ken of their 
dimensions and general plan, as well as the subjects that adorn 
the walls of their passages and chambers, nearly all of which 
are hewn in the limestone rock of the Libyan mountain.^ 

Those tombs at Memphis and the Pyramids which are of 
masonry differ in their plan, and in many instances in the style 
of their sculptun^s. The subjects, however, generally relate to 
the manners and customs of the Egyptians ; and pairties, boat 
scenes, fishing, fowling, and other ordinary occupations of the 
people, are portrayed there, as in the sepulchres of Thebes. 

The Tombs of the Kings at Thebes are principally of Pharaohs 
of the 18th and 19th Dynasties ; the oldest in the eastern valley, 
where they are nearly all situated, being of Bameses L, the 
grandfather of the conqueror of the same name. That of the 
third Amenophis is in the western valley, with two others of an 
old and uncertain era. They have likewise been mentioned in 
my ' Topography of Thebes,* ' where their plans and the subjects 
of their sculptures are described as of the sepulchres of private 

* When anyone die<l,' all the females of his family, covering 
their heads and faces with mud, and leaving the body in the 
house, ran through the streets with their b<»som8 exposed, striking 
themselves,^ and uttering loud lamentations.* Their friends and 

' The tombfl wer« placed gtntnAXj at of the tint chamber. (Mariette, *Moa. 

the »t(le« of mouDtaint, and were not rerr of I'pper i-I|;Tpt/ pi. 7.)— 8. B. 
eeB«ptcuoam and coiimted of a small * *Top<»^raphr of Thebe*/ p. \W^ ei teq, 

bailding with a rectaoi^alar and rerticml ' Herodotus (ii. S.'») sars, * a pervoa of 

cell leading to the Tault beneath, which rank ;* but the same Umentatiott was 

was the sepulchral chamber. The ci- made br the familr. whaterer his statioB 

terior building was a kind of memorial or in life might be ; the onlr diflPerence btittg 

mortuarr chapel, open at all times, and that thf funeral was not attended br 

where the relatiTes of the dead assembled, strangers, out of respect to the deceasM, 

Between the brickwork was a narrow paa- when unknown or of low condition. 
•age, in which Hgures of the deceased were * Ther were forbidden to cut thein* 

depoeite<l and then walled up. At Beni- selri^ as were the Jews. (I^rit. lii. 2S ; 

Hassan the tombs were hollowed out of l>eut. lir. 1.) This was a STriaa casloflu 

th« mouBtaio, and the otU in a cormer at the worship of Baal. (1 Kinp iriiL 2S.) 


relations joined them as they went, nniting in the same de- 
monstrations of grief ; and when the deceased was a person of 
consideration, many strangers accompanied them, out of respect 
to his memory.^ Hired mourners were also employed to add by 
their feigned demonstrations ^ of grief to the real lamentations of 
the family, and to heighten the show of respect paid to the 
deceased. ' The men in like manner girding their dress below 
their waist, went through the town smiting their breast,'^ and 
throwing dust and mud npon their heads.^ Bnt the greatest 
number of mourners consisted of women, as is usual in Egypt 
at the present day ; and since the mode of lamentation now 
practised at Cairo is probably very similar to that of former 
times, a description of it may serve to illustrate one of the 
customs of ancient Egypt.* 

As soon as the marks of approaching death are observed, the 
females of the family raise the cry of lamentation ; one generally 
commencing in a low tone, and exclaiming, *• my misfortune!' 
which is immediately taken up by another with increased 
vehemence; and all join in similar exclamations, united with 
piercing cries. They call on the deceased, according to their 
degree of relationship, — ^as, * my father,' * my mother,' * 
my sister,' * O my brother,' * O my aunt ;' or according to the 
friendship and connection subsisting between them, as ' O my 
master,' * O lord of the house,' ' O my friend,' * my dear, my 
soul, my eyes ;' and many of the neighbours, as well as the 
friends of the family, join in the lamentation. Hired mourning 
women are also engaged, who utter cries of grief, and praise the 
virtues of the deceased ; while the females of the house rend 
their clothes, beat themselves, and make other violent demon- 
strations of sorrow. A sort of funeral dirge * is also chanted by 
the mourning women to the sound of a tambourine, from which 
the tinkling plates have been removed. 

This continues until the funeral takes place, which, if the 
person died in the morning, is performed the same day ; but if 
in the afternoon or evening, it is deferred until the morning, 
the lamentations being continued all night. Previous to, or 
immediately after the departure of, the vital spark, they take 

> As the Egyptians moamed for Jacob. * I refer to Lane's admirable work on 

(Gen. 1. 3.) the Modern Egyptians, toI. ii. p. 286. 

' Hor. de Arte Poet, rerse 429. Conf. * Like the * inconditnm qnoddam car- 

Jerem. iz. 17 ; Matt. ix. 23. men/ mentioned by Quintos Cnrtiiis, sung 

' Herodot. ii. 85. by matrons and virgins at the temple ot 

* Ibid. Diodor. i. 91. Ammon. 


care to close the eyes and month ;^ which is always looked npon 
as a tender and dutiful office worthy of the kind feelings of a 
sincere friend ; and soon after the mourners have collected, the 
body is given over to the moghuud (or washer), who, placing it 
on a bench, the eyes being closed, and the mouth bound up, 
washes it, the barber having previously performed his office. 

In the meantime prayers are read in an adjoining apartment 
by the fekkees^ who officiate as priests ; and preparations are 
then made for carrying out the corpse to the grave. It is placed 
on a bier borne by four friends of the deceased, who, after a 
short distance, are relieved by four others, and so on, till arrived 
at the cemetery ; the procession which accompanies it depending 
on the rank of the person, or the attentions of his friends. This 
has been so fully and so accurately described by Lane,' that 
I cannot do better than give it from his valuable book. 

' The first persons (in the procession) are about six or more 
poor men, called Yementeh, mostly blind, who proceed two and 
two, or three and three together. Walking at a moderate pace, 
or rather slowly, they chant in a melancholy tone the profession 
of faith, or sometimes other words : they are followed by some 
male relations and friends of the decease<l, and in many cases 
by two or more persons of some sect of dervishes, bearing the 
flags of their order. . . . Next follow three or four or more school- 
boys, one of whom carries a copy of the Coran, . . . placed upon 
a kind of desk formed of palm-sticks, and covered over generally 
with an embroidered kerchief. These boys chant in a higher 
and livelier voice than the Yemen6eh, usually some words of a 
poem descriptive of the events of the last day, the judgment, &c., 
commencing — 

* ^^ (I A»^rt) the aUoIaU glory of Him who cnatcth whaterer hath form, 
And reduceth Hit Mrraota bj death : 

Who briof^eth to nought (all) Hii creaturea, with mankind ; 
They shall all lie in the grmrea : 
The ab§<dut« glory of the Lord of the East : * 
The absolute glory of the Ix>rd of the Went :* 
The abaolute glory of the Illamiaator of the two lights ; 
The Run, to wit, and the moon: 
Hi* absolute glory : how bountiful ia He I'* 

'The schoolboys immediately prece<le the bier, which is 
borne head foremost. Three or four friends of the deceased 
Qsually carry it for a short distance ; then three or four other 

* Aa did the Romana. (Virg. Xjo. ix. two place* of sunrise ;** the point whert 
4^7, 4c.) the aun rise* in summer, and that where it 

* * Modem (Igrptiana,* ii. 2A9. rises in winter.' 

* * Liurmily, *'* the two Luta," or ** the * * Or ** Iko two placaa of auBatU' 

w • 


friends, who are in like manner relieved. Behind the bier 
walk the female mourners ; sometimes a group of more than a 
dozen or twenty, with their hair dishevelled, though generally 
concealed by the head-veil, crying and shrieking ; and often the 
hired mourners accompany them, celebrating the praises of the 
deceased. Among the women the relations and domestics of the 
deceased are each distinguished by a strip of linen, or cotton 
stuff, or muslin, generally blue, bound round the head, and tied 
in a single knot behind, the ends hanging down a few inches. 
Each of these also carries a handkerchiQf, usually dyed blue, 
which she sometimes holds over her shoulders, and at other times 
twirls with both hands over her head, or before her face. The 
cries of the women, the lively chanting of the youths, and the 
deep tones uttered by the Yemeneeh, compose a strange discord. 

' The wailing of women at funerals was forbidden by the 
Prophet ; and so also was the celebration of the virtues of the 
deceased. . . . Some of these precepts are every day violated ; 
. . . and I have seen mourning women of the lower classes 
following a bier, having their faces (which were bare), and their 
head-coverings and bosoms, besmeared with mud. 

* The funeral procession of a man of wealth, or of the middle 
classes, is sometimes preceded by three or four or more camels, 
bearing bread and water to give to the poof at the tomb, and is 
composed of a more numerous and varied assemblage of persons.' 
In this, besides the persons already mentioned, * the led horses 
of the bearers, if men of rank, often follow the bier ; and a 
buffalo, to be sacrificed at the tomb, where its flesh is to be 
distributed to the poor, closes the procession.' 

The funeral of a devout sheikh differs in some respects from 
that of ordinary mortals ; and * the women, instead of wailing, 
rend the air with shrill and quavering cries of joy, called 
zuffhareet ; and if these cries are discontinued but for a minute, 
the bearers of the bier protest they cannot proceed, that a 
supernatural power rivets them to the spot.' Very often, it is 
said, a welee impels the bearers of his corpse to a particular 
place ; a curious anecdote of which is related by Lane ;* and 
I have repeatedly witnessed instances of this at Cairo, having 
for some time lived in the main street leading to a cemeter)' 
near one of the gates of the city. 

Several points of resemblance may be observed between the 

' Lane, *■ Modern Egyptians,' ii. p. 294. 


funeral processions of ancient Egypt and the aboye-mentioned 
ceremony : as in the female mourners ; their heads bound with 
a fillet ; the procession of the friends on foot ; the head of the 
corpse foremost ; the horses (or chariot) in the procession ; an<^ 
the ox or calf for sacrifice, the meat of which was probably given 
to the poor, like the visceraiio of the Romans. 

Of the magnificent pomp of a royal funeral in the time of the 
Pharaohs no adequate idea can be formed from the processions 
represented in the tombs of ordinary individuals ; and the 
solemn manner in which a public mourning was observed in his 
honour, the splendour of the royal tombs, and the importance 
attached to all that appertained to the king, sufficiently show 
how far these last must have fallen short of regal grandeur. A 
general mourning was proclaimed throughout the country, which 
lasted seventy-two days after his death. * The people tore their 
garments,^ all the temples were closed, sacrifices were forbidden, 
and no festivals were celebrated during that period. A pro- 
cession of men and women, to the number of two hundred or 
three hundred, with their dresses attached below their breast, 
wandered through the streets, throwing dust^ and mud upon 
their heads ; and twice every day they sang the funeral dirge 
in honour of the deceased monarch, extolling his virtues, and 
passing every encomium upon his memory. In the meantime a 
solemn fast was established; and they neither allowed them- 
selves to taste meat or wheaten bread,^ abstaining also from 
wine and every kind of luxury ; nor did anyone venture, from a 
religious scruple, to use baths or ointments, to lie on soft beds, 
or in any way to gratify his appetites; giving himself up 
entirely to mourning during those days, as if he had lost the 
friend most dear to him.' 

Considering the marked distinction maintained between the 
sovereign and the highest subjects in the kingdom, in a country 
where the royal princes walked on foot when in attendance upon 
their father, and even bore him in his chair of state upon their 
shoulders, — where the highest functionaries of the priestly order, 
the most influential of the hereditary nobles of the land, walked 
behind the chariot * of their monarch, — we may readily believe 

* Diodor. i. 72. ' ' As the bread of mourners.' (Hoe. 

' The Greeks say ' mad ;' but io dry, ix. 4.) 

dusty Egypt this would hare been more * The greatest hononr conferred on 

difficult to find than dust in England, Joseph was permission 'to ride in the 

if we had so unpleasant a custom at our second chariot which he (the king) had.' 

AiaaraU. This was a royal chariot, no one being 



[Chap. XVL 

Closets conUining figures of 

^o, esi. 

how greatly the funeral processions of the wealthiest indiyiduals 
fell short of those of the kings. But from the pomp of ordinary 
funerals some idea may be formed of the grand state in which 
the body of a sovereign was conveyed to the tomb. 

In the funeral processions of the Egyptian grandees the order 
was frequently as follows, as will be seen in Plate LXVI. : — 
First came several servants, carrying tables laden with fruit, 

cakes, flowers, vases of ointment,^ wine, and 
other liquids, with three young geese and 
a calf for sacrifice, chairs and wooden tablets, 
>ll jk napkins,^ and other things. Then others 

^ ^ bringing the small closets in which the 

■'I ^ IL J' ^ ^' i mummy of the deceased and of his ancestors 

had been kept, while receiving the funeral 
liturgies previous to burial, and which some- 
times contained the images of the gods. 
They also carried daggers, bows, sandals, and fans ; each man 
having a kerchief or napkin on his shoulder. Next came a 
table of offerings, fauteuils, couches, boxes, and a chariot ; and 
then the charioteer with a pair of horses yoked in another car, 
which he drove as he followed on foot, in token of respect to 
his late master. After these were men carrying gold vases on a 
table, with other offerings, boxes, and a large case upon a sledge 
borne on poles by four men, superintended by two functionaries 
of the priestly order ; then others bearing small images of his 
ancestors, arms, fans, the sceptres, signets, collars, necklaces, 
and other things appertaining to the king in whose service he 
had held an important ofiice. To these succeeded the bearers of 
a sacred boat, and the mysterious eye of Shu or Horus as god of 
stability,^ so common on funeral monuments ; the same, whicli 
was placed over the incision in the side of the body when em- 
balmed, was the emblem of Egypt, and was frequently used as 
a sort of amulet, and deposited in the tombs. Others carried 
the well-known small images of blue pottery representing the 
deceased under the form of Osiris, and the bird emblematic of 
the soul. Following these were seven or more men bearing upon 

allowed to appear in his own in the pre- 
sence of majesty, except in battle. 

* I have had occasion to notice the 
different materials of which vases used for 
holding ointment were made. Alabaster 
was most common, as with the Greeks and 
Komans, who even adopted the name 

'alabaster,* alabastrony to signify a vase, 
as in Theocr. Id. xv. 112: l,vpl^ {« 
fivpcf} xpt^o'ft* iiXdficurrpa. 

' These were sometimes spread orer the 
tables of offerings as tablecloths. 

' Given also to Ptah in the same cha* 

CooperAHodson 1;l)i' LS8,:itrBiKl .IM 




BtaTW or wooden yokes caaes flllc<I with flowers and bottles for 
libatiuD ; aud then seven or eight wumeo, baring tbeir heads 
bound with filletg, beating their breasts, throwing dust Qpou 
tfaoir heads, and uttering dolefnl lamentations fur the deceased, 
intermixed with prais(« of his Tirtaes. 

One is seen in the picture turning round, in the act of 
adoration, towards a sacred case containing a sitting CyDoce- 
phahis, the emblem of the god of letters,' placed on a sledge 
drawn by four men ; the ofGciating high (iriost or ]>()ntiff, clad 
in a leifpanl-skio, following, having in his hand tho censer and 
rase of libation, and accompanied by his attendants bearing tha 
various things required for the occasion. 

Next came the hearse, placed in the consecrated boat upon a 
sledge,* drawn by four oxen and by seven men, nnder the 
direction of a superintendent, who rcgnlate<l the march of the 
procession. A high functionary of the priestly order walked 
close to the boat, in which the chief muumers, the nearest 
female relatives of the deceased, stood or sat at either end of 
the 8arc4i])hagus ; and sometimes bis widow, holding a child 
in her arms, united her lamentations with prayers for her tender 
offspring, whu added its tribute of sorrow to that of its afflicted 

The sarcophagus was decked with flowers, and on the sides 
wore painted alter- 
nately the emblems ■ ^ . Vr . 


of stability* and se- 
curity.* two by two 
(as on tht' sacn-<l arks 
or »hrinn8)njion »ei>a- 
rate {Htnfls, une of 
which wan somftimt-s 
takon iiut to ex]Miso 
to view the head of 
the mummy within. 
Tbi-se two em- 
blems are fn-<tuently put into the bands of the mummies, as 
may be seen in the coffins of the Uritish ^luseum and other 

■ Thii rml'IriB vt Thuth trrtat to cor- of limblirhiu. It ijiiittu* to ba etlitd 

■puB'l til Ih- '—■* tarn.-l ■* the dak of rir or fcil. 

Ja^ 11 Ihr M<.<lTm fuuTili. ' A lit, »I1«>I bi, wbm Daknowtt. Hf^ 

• Plui. .Ir l>i.|. L 3:>. tinll^ ttw Ml (itBilUd Umtu, uJ t^ 

' nu }-(rh*|4 R|>RMaU tk« bar taw* l« Itii oi Kt|ihthj). — 8. B. 



[Chap. XVL 

N0.63S. KiMtofabelt 

collections. The first appears to be a' sort of stand used by 
workmen for supporting vases or other things they were chisel- 
ling which required a firm position, and the 
other resembles a knot or clasp of a belt worn 
by the gods and kings.^ 

Behind the hearse followed the male re- 
lations and friends of the deceased; some 
beating their breasts ; others, if not giving 
the same tokens of grief, at least showing 
their sorrow by their silence and solemn 
step as they walked, leaning on their long 
sticks. These closed the procession. 

Arrived at the sacred lake, the coffin was placed in the 6am,' 
or consecrated boat of the dead, towed by a larger one furnished 
with' sails and oars, and having frequently a spacious cabin,^ 
which, in company with other sailing boats carrying the 
mourners and all those things above mentioned appertaining to 
the funeral,* crossed to the other side. Arrived there, the pro- 
cession went in the same order to the tomb ; at which the priest 
offered a sacrifice, with incense and libation; the women still 
continuing their lamentations, united with prayers and praises of 
the deceased. It frequently happened that the deceased, with 
his wife, if dead at the time of his funeral, was represented seated 
under a canopy^ in lieu of the coffin. Before him stood an altar 
laden with offerings ; and a priest, opening a long roll of papyrus, 
read aloud the funeral ritual, and an account of his good deeds, 
' in order to show to Osiris and the Assessors the extent of his 
piety and justice during his life.* When the boats reached the 
other side of the lake, the yards were lowered to the top of the 
cabin, and all those engaged in the ceremony left them and 
proceeded to the tomb, from which they appear to have returned 
by land, without recrossing the lake. 

Such was the funeral procession of a lasUicogrammateuBy or royal 
scribe, a member of the priestly order. He lived during the four 

' This ta was an amulet, made of red 
jasper when attached to the neck, accord- 
ing to the 156th chapter of the Ritual, and 
was supposed to be made of the blood of 
Isis. It represented a tie or buckle. — S. B. 

• *The boat which carries over the 
bodies of the dead is called harts.* (Diod. 
i. 96.) 

' It is probable that Strabo alludes to 
these boats with cabins under the name 
of thaktmegi or thalamiferi^ in which the 

£gTptians made parties of pleasure on the 
water. ( Lib. xvii. p. 550.) Some were 
Tery small, and towed on the lakes of 
their pleasure-grounds hj servants. 

* On the cabin of the baris is the case 
containing the Cynocephalus. 

* This canopy was very similar to that 
mentioned by Herodotus, of wood, gilt, in 
which the statue of a god was placed in 


live reigns of Thotbmes III., Amenophis II., Thothmes IV., 
menophis III., and held tho office of tutor to one of the 

princesses, as tho sculptures inform us, which represent 
inning her on his knee, while entertaining a party of 
i. This, since it shows tliat tho education of the daughters 
igs was entrusteil to members of the priestly onler dis- 
shed for their talents, is another trait of resemblance in 
iftoms of ancient Egypt and the most refined of modem 
lean nations. 

ie funerals of other persons differed in tho order of the 
•ion, as well as in the ]>omp displayetl on tho occasion; 
le mode of celebrating them appears to have depende<l on 
langements made by the family, except in those particulars 

were prescribed by law. The funeral of Nefer-hott^p^ a 
of Amen at Thebes, is thus described on the walls of his 
[as seen in Plate LX VII.), the scene of which li«*s {mrtlyon 
ke, and partly on the way thence to the S(*puh*hre itself: — 
nt came a large boat, conveying the bearers of flowers, 
and numerous things appertaining to the offerings — tables, 
lis, and other pieces of furniture — as well as the friends of 
sceased, whose consequence is shown by their dresses and 
ralking-sticks — the peculiar mark of Kgyptian gentlemen, 
followed by a small skiff holding baskets of cakes and 
a quantity of gn^en palm-branches, which it was 
nary to strew in the way as tho body pn)cee<le<I to the 

the smooth nature of their leaver and stalks beinir 
nlarly well adapteil to enable the sledge to glide ovit 

this part of the picture tho love of caricature eonunon to 
jyptians is shown to luive been indulges! in, even in the 
I subject of a funeral ; and the retrograde movement of the 
boat, which has grounded and is pushinl off the bank, 
ig the smaller one with its rudder, has overturned a larg«* 
loade<l with cakes and other things upon tht* rowi»rs mMitiMl 

in spite of all the efforts of the prowman, and the earn«*Kt 
rations of the alarnuMl Ht<*(*r8man. 

another Uiiit men carried bi»uqu(*ts, and Kixes 8upi>ort(^l 

usual voki* oV(T th«'ir shoulders; and this was follo\i«*d bv 
thcrs, on«* cuntaining the male, the other the female 
crs, stun<liu^ «iu the roof of the cabin, beating tiu'inselves, 
Ig cries, and making other demonnt rat inns of i^xoessive 

Last came the consecrated boat, bearing the hearse, which 


was surrounded by the chief mourners, and the female relations 
of the deceased. A high priest burnt incense over the altar, 
which was placed before it ; and behind it stood the images of 
Isis and Nephthys. They were the emblems of the Beginning 
and the End, and were thought to be always present at the head 
and feet of the dead who had led a virtuous life, and who were 
deemed worthy of admission into the regions of the blessed. 

Arrived at the opposite shore of the lake, the procession 
advanced to the catacombs, crossing the sandy plain which 
intervened between them and the lake ; and on the way several 
women of the vicinity, carrying their children in shawls 
suspended at their side or at their bcu^k,^ joined in the lamenta- 
tion. The mummy being taken out of the sarcophagus, was 
placed erect in the chamber of the tomb; and the sister or 
nearest relation, embracing it, commenced a funeral dirge, 
calling on her relative with every expression of tenderness, 
extolling his virtues, and bewailing her own loss. In the mean- 
time the high priest presented a sacrifice of incense and libation, 
with offerings of cakes and other customary gifts, for the 
deceased, and the men and women without continued the 
ululation, throwing dust upon their heads, and making other 
manifestations of grief. 

Many funerals were conducted in a more simple manner ; the 
procession consisting merely of the mourners and priests, with 
the hearse, conveyed as usual on a sledge drawn by two or three 
oxen, and by several men, who aided in pulling the rope. The 
priest who wore the leopard-skin dress and who performed the 
sacrifice, was in attendance, burning incense and pouring out a 
libation as he went; and behind him walked a functionary of 
an inferior grade, clad in a simple robe, extending a little below 
the knees and standing out from the body. In form it was not 
altogether unlike a modem abbaieh, and was made of some stiflF 
substance, with two holes in front, through which the arms passed, 
in order to enable him to hold a long taper.^ At the head and 
foot of the hearse was a female, who generally clasped one arm 
with her hand in token of grief, her head being bound with a 
fillet, her bosom exposed, and her dress ^ supported, like that of 

* This is the common custom of the • I believe this to be a taper or torch. 

Arab women on the west bank of the Nile • ^Eirtiwafityri. Apaleius (Metam. li. 

at this day. It may perhaps be analogous 250) says the high priest made a purinca- 

to * Thy daughters shall be nursed at thy tion * with a lighted torch, an egg, and 

side/ (Isa. Ix. 4.) sulphur/ 


Lming women, by a strap over the shoulder. She sometimes 
9 a scarf tied across her hips, much in the same manner as 
Xgyptian women now put on their shawls both in the house 

when going out of d(x>r8. She appears 
BT to be a type of mourning, or a . . 

laa who had some peculiar office on $^ t^ 

e occasions.^ 

^ piooession of this kind was all that at- 
Led the funeral of a person who held the 
e of ' scribe of weights and measures ;' 

at I have already observed, the pomp 
ilayed in the ceremony depended on 
omstances; and individuals surpassed 

I other in the style of their burial, as in 
grandeur of their tombs, according to a p^<iiur.iM.^ .1 a f»rr.i 

their family, or they themselves ''**** *^' 
granted for the purpose. In another funeral the order 
he procession was as follows : — 

First came eight men throwing dust upon their heads, and 
ing other demonstrations of grief; then six females, in the 

II attire of mourners, preceding the hearse, which was drawn 
two oxen — in this instance unassisted by men, two only lieing 
r them, one uttering lamentations, and the other driving 
n with a goad or a whip. Immediately before the sledge 
ring the coffin was the tpritMer^ who, with a brush dippe<l in 
ite» or with a small bottle, threw water u]M>n the ground, and 
i^w also on those who passed. The same is done in the 
ml ceremonies of the East at the present day ; and so pn>- 
iy do they sometimes honour the passengers, that Lane' 
id his dress wetted very uncomfortably on one occasion 
n he happened to pass by. Next came the hi^h priest, who, 
dng round to the hearse, offered incense and libation in 
our of the deceased, the chief mourner being seated in the 
t before it : other men followed ; and the procession closed 
I eight or nu»re women, beating themselves, throwing dust on 
r heads, and singing the funeral dirge« Arrive^l at the tomb, 
ch stuo<l lM*n«*uth the westi*m mountain of Thebes, the 
nmy was taken from the hearse, and being placed upright, 
mse was burnt, and a libation was |x)ured out before it by the 

!lall«d frr ( »t, *th^ rhwf monnirr' UtMB« uf Ui« anl NrphthT«. — S. R. 
«y«r-«ut.* Mil trr.t nrfi. 'tht Immf * * MoJcra L(y).tUB«.* v.). li. y. J97. 

■•r,' a|»piirpBtlj alluJing Iq rrprt«tB* 

OL. III. 2 O 


high-priest as he stood at the altar, while other functionaries 
performed various ceremonies in honour of the deceased. The 
hierogrammateus or sacred scribe read aloud from a tablet or a 
roll of papyrus his eulogy, and a prayer to the gods in his 
behalf; *not enlarging,' says Diodorus,^ *on his descent, but 
relating his piety and justice and other virtues, and supplicating 
the deities of Hades to receive him as a companion of the pious, 
the multitude at the same time applauding and joining in the 
praises of his memory/ 

Sometimes this document was read from the boat, immediately 
after the deceased had passed that ordeal which gave him the 
right to cross the sacred lake, and proclaimed the presumed 
admission of his soul into the regions of the blessed ; and it is 
probable that the same was again repeated when the body 
arrived at the tomb. 

The order of the procession which accompanied the body from 
the sacred lake to the catacombs was the same as before they had 
passed it ; the time occupied by the march depending, of course, 
on the position of the tomb, and the distance from which the 
body had been brought, some coming from remote towns or 
villages, and others from the city itself, or the immediate vicinity. 
The same was the case at Memphis and other places ; and the 
capital of each province appears to have had its sacred lake, 
where the funerals were performed with the same regard to the 
ceremonies required by the religion. 

The tomb in the subject above described is represented at the 
base of the western mountain of Thebes, which agrees perfectly 
with its actual position; and from this, as from several other 
similar paintings, we learn that, besides the excavated chambers 
hewn in the rock, a small building crowned by a roof of conical 
or pyramidal form stood before the entrance. It is probable 
that many if not all the pits in the plain below the hills were 
once covered with buildings of this kind, which, from their 
perishable materials, crude brick, have been destroyed after a 
lapse of so many ages. Indeed, we find the remains of some of 
them, and occasionally even of their vaulted chambers, with the 
painted stucco on the walls. The small brick pyramids on the 
heights, which still stand to attest the antiquity of the arch, were 
built for the same purpose ; and similar paintings occur on their 
stuccoed walls as on those of the excavated tombs. 

» Diodor. i. 92. 


Huiy other funerals occnr on the tomba, which rarjr only in 

me details from those already mciitiuned. I cannot bowevpr 

«isiut to notice an instance of poim-branches strewn in the vay,' 

mmi the introdnction of two tables or altars for the deocasetl and 

Xiu wife — one bearing a jirofusion of cukes, nit-ut, fruit, vcf^i-tables, 

ttod other customary gifts, and the other numerous utenxiU and 

insignia, as flabella, censers, ostrich-feathers, osjis, and emblems, 

' together with the hind log of a victim placed ui»cm a luipkin 

Spread OTer the table. Another is curious, from its showing 

tliat water or grease was sometimes jMinred upon thtt ground 

or platform on which the sledge of the hearse passed, aa 

was done in moving a colossus or any great weight by the 

lame process. 

The hearse containing the mummy was generally closed on 
■U aides ; but it was sometimes open partially or entirely, and 

the body was seen placed npon a bier ornamented, like some of 
the couches in their houses, with the head Bn<i feet of a lioQ. 
Sometimes the mummy was placed on the tup of the sarcophagus 
within an open heaise, and three friends of the dec«-ufle«], or the 
ftinctionarica destined for this office, took it thenco to Mtnvey it 
to the tomb, where it received the accustom«<«l iier%'ii'es previous 
to interment in the pit ; an affectionate hand often crowning it 
with a garland of itnmorUUet, bay-leaves, or frexh flowen;* and 
defMisiting, as the last duty of a bcloTe«l friend, some object to 
which while alive he had been attached. 

rifht,K«r<liat to Ec;pliu 
IMS, tbaif h IB nJitj «• U* |t««a 


I must mention one more subject portrayed in the tombs, if 
not from its novelty, from the grouping and character of the 
figures.^ Three women and a young child follow the hearse of 
their deceased relative, throwing dust upon their heads in token 
of grief ; and the truth with which the artist has described their 
different ages is &o less striking than the elegance of the drawing 
— as well in the aged mother as in the wife, the grown-up 
daughter, and the youthful son. This picture affords a striking 
confirmation of the conjecture that married women were alone 
permitted to wear the moffOBeeSy or ringlet at the side of the face ; 
which, as I have already observed, was frequently bound at the 
end with string, like the plaits at the back of the head. The 
grey hairs of the grandmother, shortened by age, still show this 
privileged mark of the matron ; and its absence in the coiffure 
of the daughter indicates that, though grown up, she had not 
yet entered the connubial state.^ The child, less remarkable 
than the other three, is not without its interest, as it fuUy 
confirms a statement of Diodorus,* that * the Egyptians bring up 
their children at an incredibly small expense, both in food and 
raiment, the mildness of the climate enabling them to go vdthout 
shoes, or indeed without any other clothing.* For, judging from 
this, as from others represented in the sculptures, we may 
presume that the yearly bill for shoes and all articles of dress 
pressed very lightly on the purses of the parents in many classes 
of society. 

Such are the principal funeral processions represented in the 
tombs of Thebes, which, as I have already observed, followed 
the same order in going to the sacred lake as from thence to the 
tomb. It remains for me to describe the preparatory rites, and 
the remarkable ceremony that took place on arriving at the lake, 
before permission could be obtained to transport the body to the 
opposite shore. 

We have seen that the first step taken by the friends of the 
deceased at the moment of his death was to run through the 
streets throwing dust upon their heads and uttering bitter cries 
of grief for his loss, * after which the body was conveyed to 
the embalmers.* The afflicted family during seventy-two days 

* * Materia Hierog./ Plate 4. » Diodor. i. 80. 

• [For specimens of these distinguishing * Herodot. ii. 85. In order not to 
marks afforded by the mode of dressing the interrupt the account of the funeral, 1 
h.iir, see woodcuts Nos. 437 and 439, vol. ii. defer the description of embalmine for th* 
pp. 325 and 328.--G. W.] present. 

Chaf. XVL] tokens of GRIEF. 453 

continued their lamentations at home,^ singing the funeral dirge, 
and fulfilling all the duties require<l both by custom and their 
own feelings on this mournful occasion/^ 

No op{K)rtunity was lost of showing thoir r('rti>ect for the 
memory of their departed friend. They alwtainixl from all 
amusements, the indulgence in every kind of luxury, as 'the 
bath, wine, delicacies of the table, or rich clothing;*^ 'they 
suffered their beard and hair to grow,*^ and endoavoured to 
prove, by this marked neglect of their personal comfort and 
appearance, how entirely their thoughts were absorbed by the 
melancholy event that had befallen them. But they did not 
cut themselves in token of grief; and the command given to the 
Israelites, ' Ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness 
between your eyes for the dead,* * does not refer to a custom of 
the Egyptians, but of those people among whom they were about 
to establish themselves in Syria — as is distinctly stated of the 
votaries of Baal.* 

The body, having been embalmed, was restored to the family, 
either already placed in the mommy-case, or merely wrapped in 
bandages, if we may believe Herodotus, who says the friends of 
the deceased made the coffin;* though, from the paintings in 
the tombs, it would appear that the body was frcKjuently en- 
veloped and put int