Τὸ ΑΣΤΡΟΛΟΓΙΚΟΝ εἰς τὴν Προσωποβίβλον
|Πλούταρχος, Περὶ Ἴσιδος καὶ Ὀσίριδος - α΄|
ἑλληνικὰ πρωτότυπα μὲ ἀγγλικὰς μεταφράσεις, τοῦ Charles William King, 1882, Κλασσικὴ Βιβλιοθήκη Bohn
I. Πάντα μέν, ὦ Κλέα, δεῖ τἀγαθὰ τοὺς νοῦν ἔχοντας αἰτεῖσθαι παρὰ τῶν θεῶν, μάλιστα δὲ τῆς περὶ αὐτῶν ἐπιστήμης ὅσον ἐφικτόν ἐστιν ἀνθρώποις μετιόντες εὐχόμεθα τυγχάνειν παρ' αὐτῶν ἐκείνων· ὡς οὐθὲν ἀνθρώπῳ λαβεῖν μεῖζον, οὐ χαρίσασθαι θεῷ σεμνότερον ἀληθείας. Τἄλλα μὲν γὰρ ἀνθρώποις ὁ θεὸς ὧν δέονται δίδωσιν, <νοῦ δὲ καὶ φρονήσεως μεταδίδωσιν,> οἰκεῖα κεκτημένος ταῦτα καὶ χρώμενος.
Οὐ γὰρ ἀργύρῳ καὶ χρυσῷ μακάριον τὸ θεῖον οὐδὲ βρονταῖς καὶ κεραυνοῖς ἰσχυρόν, ἀλλ' ἐπιστήμῃ καὶ φρονήσει, καὶ τοῦτο κάλλιστα πάντων Ὅμηρος ὧν εἴρηκε περὶ θεῶν ἀναφθεγξάμενος
Οἶμαι δὲ καὶ τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς, ἣν ὁ θεὸς εἴληχεν, εὔδαιμον εἶναι τὸ τῇ γνώσει μὴ προαπολείπειν τὰ γινόμενα· τοῦ δὲ γινώσκειν τὰ ὄντα καὶ φρονεῖν ἀφαιρεθέντος οὐ βίον ἀλλὰ χρόνον εἶναι τὴν ἀθανασίαν.
II. Διὸ θειότητος ὄρεξίς ἐστιν ἡ τῆς ἀληθείας μάλιστα δὲ τῆς περὶ θεῶν ἔφεσις, ὥσπερ ἀνάληψιν ἱερῶν τὴν μάθησιν ἔχουσα καὶ τὴν ζήτησιν, ἁγνείας τε πάσης καὶ νεωκορίας ἔργον ὁσιώτερον, οὐχ ἥκιστα δὲ τῇ θεῷ ταύτῃ κεχαρισμένον, ἣν σὺ θεραπεύεις ἐξαιρέτως σοφὴν καὶ φιλόσοφον οὖσαν, ὡς τοὔνομά γε φράζειν ἔοικε παντὸς μᾶλλον αὐτῇ τὸ εἰδέναι καὶ τὴν ἐπιστήμην προσήκουσαν.
Ἑλληνικὸν γὰρ ἡ Ἶσίς ἐστι καὶ ὁ Τυφὼν πολέμιος <ὢν> τῇ θεῷ καὶ δι' ἄγνοιαν καὶ ἀπάτην τετυφωμένος καὶ διασπῶν καὶ ἀφανίζων τὸν ἱερὸν λόγον, ὃν ἡ θεὸς συνάγει καὶ συντίθησι καὶ παραδίδωσι τοῖς τελουμένοις <διὰ> θειώσεως σώφρονι μὲν ἐνδελεχῶς διαίτῃ καὶ βρωμάτων πολλῶν καὶ ἀφροδισίων ἀποχαῖς κολουούσης, τὸ ἀκόλαστον καὶ φιλήδονον, ἀθρύπτους δὲ καὶ στερρὰς ἐν ἱεροῖς λατρείας ἐθιζούσης ὑπομένειν, ὧν τέλος ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ πρώτου καὶ κυρίου καὶ νοητοῦ γνῶσις [, ὃν ἡ θεὸς παρακαλεῖ ζητεῖν παρ' αὐτῇ καὶ μετ' αὐτῆς ὄντα καὶ συνόντα]. Τοῦ δ' ἱεροῦ τοὔνομα καὶ σαφῶς ἐπαγγέλλεται καὶ γνῶσιν καὶ εἴδησιν τοῦ ὄντος· ὀνομάζεται γὰρ Ἰσεῖον ὡς εἰσομένων τὸ ὄν, ἂν μετὰ λόγου καὶ ὁσίως εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ τῆς θεοῦ παρέλθωμεν.
III. Ἔτι πολλοὶ μὲν Ἑρμοῦ, πολλοὶ δὲ Προμηθέως ἱστορήκασιν αὐτὴν θυγατέρα, [ὧν] τὸν μὲν ἕτερον σοφίας καὶ προνοίας, Ἑρμῆν δὲ γραμματικῆς καὶ μουσικῆς εὑρετὴν νομίζοντες. διὸ καὶ τῶν <ἐν> Ἑρμοῦ πόλει Μουσῶν τὴν προτέραν Ἶσιν ἅμα καὶ Δικαιοσύνην καλοῦσι, σοφὴν οὖσαν, ὥσπερ εἴρηται, καὶ δεικνύουσαν τὰ θεῖα τοῖς ἀληθῶς καὶ δικαίως ἱεραφόροις καὶ ἱεροστόλοις προσαγορευομένοις· οὗτοι δ' εἰσὶν οἱ τὸν ἱερὸν λόγον περὶ θεῶν πάσης καθαρεύοντα δεισιδαιμονίας καὶ περιεργίας ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ φέροντες ὥσπερ ἐν κίστῃ καὶ περιστέλλοντες, τὰ μὲν μέλανα καὶ σκιώδη τὰ δὲ φανερὰ καὶ λαμπρὰ τῆς περὶ θεῶν ὑποδηλοῦντες οἰήσεως, οἷα καὶ περὶ τὴν ἐσθῆτα τὴν ἱερὰν ἀποφαίνεται. διὸ καὶ τὸ κοσμεῖσθαι τούτοις τοὺς ἀποθανόντας Ἰσιακοὺς σύμβολόν ἐστι τοῦτον τὸν λόγον εἶναι μετ' αὐτῶν, καὶ τοῦτον ἔχοντας ἄλλο δὲ μηδὲν ἐκεῖ βαδίζειν. Οὔτε γὰρ φιλοσόφους πωγωνοτροφίαι, ὦ Κλέα, καὶ τριβωνοφορίαι ποιοῦσιν οὔτ' Ἰσιακοὺς αἱ λινοστολίαι καὶ ξυρήσεις· ἀλλ' Ἰσιακός ἐστιν ὡς ἀληθῶς ὁ τὰ δεικνύμενα καὶ δρώμενα περὶ τοὺς θεοὺς τούτους, ὅταν νόμῳ παραλάβῃ, λόγῳ ζητῶν καὶ φιλοσοφῶν περὶ τῆς ἐν αὐτοῖς ἀληθείας.
IV. Ἐπεὶ τούς γε πολλοὺς καὶ τὸ κοινότατον τοῦτο καὶ σμικρότατον λέληθεν, ἐφ' ὅτῳ τὰς τρίχας οἱ ἱερεῖς ἀποτίθενται καὶ λινᾶς ἐσθῆτας φοροῦσιν· οἱ μὲν οὐδ' ὅλως φροντίζουσιν εἰδέναι περὶ τούτων, οἱ δὲ τῶν μὲν ἐρίων ὥσπερ τῶν κρεῶν σεβομένους τὸ πρόβατον ἀπέχεσθαι λέγουσι, ξύρεσθαι δὲ τὰς κεφαλὰς διὰ τὸ πένθος, φορεῖν δὲ τὰ λινᾶ διὰ τὴν χρόαν, ἣν τὸ λίνον ἀνθοῦν ἀνίησι τῇ περιεχούσῃ τὸν κόσμον αἰθερίῳ χαροπότητι προσεοικυῖαν.
Ἡ δ' ἀληθὴς αἰτία μία πάντων ἐστί· ‘καθαροῦ γάρ’ ᾗ φησιν ὁ Πλάτων (Phaedo 67b) ‘οὐ θεμιτὸν ἅπτεσθαι μὴ καθαρῷ·’ περίσσωμα δὲ τροφῆς καὶ σκύβαλον οὐδὲν ἁγνὸν οὐδὲ καθαρόν ἐστιν· ἐκ δὲ περιττωμάτων ἔρια καὶ λάχναι καὶ τρίχες καὶ ὄνυχες ἀναφύονται καὶ βλαστάνουσι. γελοῖον οὖν ἦν τὰς μὲν αὑτῶν τρίχας ἐν ταῖς ἁγνείαις ἀποτίθεσθαι ξυρωμένους καὶ λειαινομένους πᾶν ὁμαλῶς τὸ σῶμα, τὰς δὲ τῶν θρεμμάτων ἀμπέχεσθαι καὶ φορεῖν· καὶ γὰρ τὸν Ἡσίοδον οἴεσθαι δεῖ λέγοντα
διδάσκειν ὅτι δεῖ καθαροὺς τῶν τοιούτων γενομένους ἑορτάζειν, οὐκ ἐν αὐταῖς ταῖς ἱερουργίαις χρῆσθαι καθάρσει καὶ ἀφαιρέσει τῶν περιττωμάτων. Τὸ δὲ λίνον φύεται μὲν ἐξ ἀθανάτου τῆς γῆς καὶ καρπὸν ἐδώδιμον ἀναδίδωσι, λιτὴν δὲ παρέχει καὶ καθαρὰν ἐσθῆτα καὶ τῷ σκέποντι μὴ βαρύνουσαν, εὐάρμοστον δὲ πρὸς πᾶσαν ὥραν, ἥκιστα δὲ φθειροποιόν, ὡς λέγουσι· περὶ ὧν ἕτερος λόγος.
V. Οἱ δ' ἱερεῖς οὕτω δυσχεραίνουσι τὴν τῶν περιττωμάτων φύσιν, ὥστε μὴ μόνον παραιτεῖσθαι τῶν ὀσπρίων τὰ πολλὰ καὶ τῶν κρεῶν τὰ μήλεια καὶ ὕεια πολλὴν ποιοῦντα περίττωσιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς ἅλας τῶν σιτίων ἐν ταῖς ἁγνείαις ἀφαιρεῖν, ἄλλας τε πλείονας αἰτίας ἔχοντας καὶ <τὸ> ποτικωτέρους καὶ βρωτικωτέρους ποιεῖν ἐπιθήγοντας τὴν ὄρεξιν. Τὸ γάρ, ὡς Ἀρισταγόρας ἔλεγε, διὰ τὸ πηγνυμένοις πολλὰ τῶν μικρῶν ζῴων ἐναποθνήσκειν ἁλισκόμενα μὴ καθαροὺς λογίζεσθαι τοὺς ἅλας εὔηθές ἐστι. λέγονται δὲ καὶ τὸν Ἆπιν ἐκ φρέατος ἰδίου ποτίζειν, τοῦ δὲ Νείλου παντάπασιν ἀπείργειν, οὐ μιαρὸν ἡγούμενοι τὸ ὕδωρ διὰ τὸν κροκόδειλον, ὡς ἔνιοι νομίζουσιν (οὐδὲν γὰρ οὕτως τίμιον Αἰγυπτίοις ὡς ὁ Νεῖλος)· ἀλλὰ πιαίνειν δοκεῖ καὶ μάλιστα πολυσαρκίαν ποιεῖν τὸ Νειλῷον ὕδωρ πινόμενον· οὐ βούλονται δὲ τὸν Ἆπιν οὕτως ἔχειν οὐδ' ἑαυτούς, ἀλλ' εὐσταλῆ καὶ κοῦφα ταῖς ψυχαῖς περικεῖσθαι τὰ σώματα καὶ μὴ πιέζειν μηδὲ καταθλίβειν ἰσχύοντι τῷ θνητῷ καὶ βαρύνοντι τὸ θεῖον.
VI. Οἶνον δ' οἱ μὲν ἐν Ἡλίου πόλει θεραπεύοντες τὸν θεὸν οὐκ εἰσφέρουσι τὸ παράπαν εἰς τὸ ἱερόν, ὡς οὐ προσῆκον ὑπηρέτας πίνειν τοῦ κυρίου καὶ βασιλέως ἐφορῶντος· οἱ δ' ἄλλοι χρῶνται μὲν ὀλίγῳ δέ. πολλὰς δ' ἀοίνους ἁγνείας ἔχουσιν, ἐν αἷς φιλοσοφοῦντες καὶ μανθάνοντες καὶ διδάσκοντες τὰ θεῖα διατελοῦσιν. οἱ δὲ βασιλεῖς καὶ μετρητὸν ἔπινον ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν γραμμάτων, ὡς Ἑκαταῖος ἱστόρηκεν, ἱερεῖς ὄντες· ἤρξαντο δὲ πίνειν ἀπὸ Ψαμμητίχου, πρότερον δ' οὐκ ἔπινον οἶνον οὐδ' ἔσπενδον ὡς φίλιον θεοῖς ἀλλ' ὡς αἷμα τῶν πολεμησάντων ποτὲ τοῖς θεοῖς, ἐξ ὧν οἴονται πεσόντων καὶ τῇ γῇ συμμιγέντων ἀμπέλους γενέσθαι· διὸ καὶ τὸ μεθύειν ἔκφρονας ποιεῖν καὶ παραπλῆγας, ἅτε δὴ τῶν προγόνων τοῦ αἵματος ἐμπιπλαμένους. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν Εὔδοξος ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ τῆς περιόδου λέγεσθαί φησιν οὕτως ὑπὸ τῶν ἱερέων.
VII. Ἰχθύων δὲ θαλαττίων πάντες μὲν οὐ πάντων ἀλλ' ἐνίων ἀπέχονται, καθάπερ Ὀξυρυγχῖται τῶν ἀπ' ἀγκίστρου· σεβόμενοι γὰρ τὸν ὀξύρυγχον ἰχθὺν δεδίασι μή ποτε τὸ ἄγκιστρον οὐ καθαρόν ἐστιν ὀξυρύγχου περιπεσόντος αὐτῷ· Συηνῖται δὲ φάγρου· δοκεῖ γὰρ ἐπιόντι τῷ Νείλῳ συνεπιφαίνεσθαι καὶ τὴν αὔξησιν ἀσμένοις φράζειν αὐτάγγελος ὁρώμενος. Οἱ δ' ἱερεῖς ἀπέχονται πάντων· πρώτου δὲ μηνὸς ἐνάτῃ τῶν ἄλλων Αἰγυπτίων ἑκάστου πρὸ τῆς αὐλείου θύρας ὀπτὸν ἰχθὺν κατεσθίοντος οἱ ἱερεῖς οὐ γεύονται μὲν κατακαίουσι δὲ πρὸ τῶν θυρῶν τοὺς ἰχθῦς δύο λόγους ἔχοντες, ὧν τὸν μὲν ἱερὸν καὶ περιττὸν αὖθις ἀναλήψομαι συνᾴδοντα τοῖς περὶ Ὀσίριδος καὶ Τυφῶνος ὁσίως φιλοσοφουμένοις, ὁ δ' ἐμφανὴς καὶ πρόχειρος οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον οὐδ' ἀπερίεργον ὄψον ἀποφαίνων τὸν ἰχθὺν Ὁμήρῳ μαρτυρεῖ μήτε Φαίακας τοὺς ἁβροβίους μήτε τοὺς Ἰθακησίους ἀνθρώπους νησιώτας ἰχθύσι χρωμένους ποιοῦντι μήτε τοὺς Ὀδυσσέως ἑταίρους ἐν πλῷ τοσούτῳ καὶ ἐν θαλάττῃ πρὶν εἰς ἐσχάτην ἐλθεῖν ἀπορίαν. Ὅλως δὲ καὶ τὴν θάλατταν ἔκφυλον ἡγοῦνται καὶ παρωρισμένην οὐδὲ μέρος οὐδὲ στοιχεῖον ἀλλ' οἷον περίττωμα διεφθορὸς καὶ νοσῶδες.
VIII. Οὐδὲν γὰρ ἄλογον οὐδὲ μυθῶδες οὐδ' ὑπὸ δεισιδαιμονίας, ὥσπερ ἔνιοι νομίζουσιν, ἐγκατεστοιχειοῦτο <ταῖς> ἱερουργίαις, ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν ἠθικὰς ἔχοντα καὶ χρειώδεις αἰτίας, τὰ δ' οὐκ ἄμοιρα κομψότητος ἱστορικῆς ἢ φυσικῆς ἐστιν, οἷον τὸ περὶ κρομμύου. Τὸ γὰρ ἐμπεσεῖν εἰς τὸν ποταμὸν καὶ ἀπολέσθαι τὸν τῆς Ἴσιδος τρόφιμον Δίκτυν ***ου κρομμύων ἐπιδρασσόμενον ἐσχάτως ἀπίθανον· οἱ δ' ἱερεῖς ἀφοσιοῦνται καὶ δυσχεραίνουσι καὶ τὸ κρόμμυον παραφυλάττοντες, ὅτι τῆς σελήνης φθινούσης μόνον εὐτροφεῖν τοῦτο καὶ τεθηλέναι πέφυκεν. Ἔστι δὲ πρόσφορον οὔθ' ἁγνεύουσιν οὔθ' ἑορτάζουσι, τοῖς μὲν ὅτι διψῆν τοῖς δ' ὅτι δακρύειν ποιεῖ τοὺς προσφερομένους. Ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὴν ὗν ἀνίερον ζῷον ἡγοῦνται· ὡς μάλιστα γὰρ ὀχεύεσθαι δοκεῖ τῆς σελήνης φθινούσης, καὶ τῶν τὸ γάλα πινόντων ἐξανθεῖ τὰ σώματα λέπραν καὶ ψωρικὰς τραχύτητας. τὸν δὲ λόγον, ὃν θύοντες ἅπαξ ὗν ἐν πανσελήνῳ καὶ [κατ]ἐσθίοντες ἐπιλέγουσιν, ὡς ὁ Τυφὼν ὗν διώκων πρὸς τὴν πανσέληνον εὗρε τὴν ξυλίνην σορόν, ἐν ᾗ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Ὀσίριδος ἔκειτο, καὶ διέρριψεν, οὐ πάντες ἀποδέχονται, παράκουσμα τῶν <νεωτέρων> ὥσπερ ἄλλα πολλὰ νομίζοντες.
Ἀλλὰ τρυφήν γε καὶ πολυτέλειαν καὶ ἡδυπάθειαν οὕτω προβάλλεσθαι τοὺς παλαιοὺς λέγουσιν, ὥστε καὶ στήλην ἔστησαν ἐν Θήβαις ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ [κεῖσθαι] κατάρας ἐγγεγραμμένας ἔχουσαν κατὰ Μείνιος τοῦ βασιλέως, ὃς πρῶτος Αἰγυπτίους τῆς ἀπλούτου καὶ ἀχρημάτου καὶ λιτῆς ἀπήλλαξε διαίτης. λέγεται δὲ καὶ Τέχνακτις ὁ Βοκχόρεως πατὴρ στρατεύων ἐπ' Ἄραβας τῆς ἀποσκευῆς βραδυνούσης ἡδέως τῷ προστυχόντι σιτίῳ χρησάμενος εἶτα κοιμηθεὶς βαθὺν ὕπνον ἐπὶ στιβάδος ἀσπάσασθαι τὴν εὐτέλειαν, ἐκ δὲ τούτου καταράσασθαι τῷ Μείνι καὶ τῶν ἱερέων ἐπαινεσάντων στηλιτεῦσαι τὴν κατάραν.
IX. Οἱ δὲ βασιλεῖς ἀπεδείκνυντο μὲν ἐκ τῶν ἱερέων ἢ τῶν μαχίμων, τοῦ μὲν δι' ἀνδρείαν τοῦ δὲ διὰ σοφίαν γένους ἀξίωμα καὶ τιμὴν ἔχοντος. Ὁ δ' ἐκ μαχίμων ἀποδεδειγμένος εὐθὺς ἐγίνετο τῶν ἱερέων καὶ μετεῖχε τῆς φιλοσοφίας ἐπικεκρυμμένης τὰ πολλὰ μύθοις καὶ λόγοις ἀμυδρὰς ἐμφάσεις τῆς ἀληθείας καὶ διαφάσεις ἔχουσιν, ὥσπερ ἀμέλει καὶ παραδηλοῦσιν αὐτοὶ πρὸ τῶν ἱερῶν τὰς σφίγγας ἐπιεικῶς ἱστάντες, ὡς αἰνιγματώδη σοφίαν τῆς θεολογίας αὐτῶν ἐχούσης. Τὸ δ' ἐν Σάι τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς, [ὃ] ἣν καὶ Ἶσιν νομίζουσιν, ἕδος ἐπιγραφὴν εἶχε τοιαύτην
Ἔτι δὲ τῶν πολλῶν νομιζόντων ἴδιον παρ' Αἰγυπτίοις ὄνομα τοῦ Διὸς εἶναι τὸν Ἀμοῦν (ὃ παράγοντες ἡμεῖς Ἄμμωνα λέγομεν) Μανεθὼς μὲν ὁ Σεβεννύτης τὸ κεκρυμμένον οἴεται καὶ τὴν κρύψιν ὑπὸ ταύτης δηλοῦσθαι τῆς φωνῆς, Ἑκαταῖος δ' ὁ Ἀβδηρίτης φησὶ τούτῳ καὶ πρὸς ἀλλήλους τῷ ῥήματι χρῆσθαι τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους, ὅταν τινὰ προσκαλῶνται· προσκλητικὴν γὰρ εἶναι τὴν φωνήν. διὸ τὸν πρῶτον θεόν, <ὃν> τῷ παντὶ τὸν αὐτὸν νομίζουσιν, ὡς ἀφανῆ καὶ κεκρυμμένον ὄντα προσκαλούμενοι καὶ παρακαλοῦντες ἐμφανῆ γενέσθαι καὶ δῆλον αὐτοῖς Ἀμοῦν λέγουσιν.
X. Ἡ μὲν οὖν εὐλάβεια τῆς περὶ τὰ θεῖα σοφίας Αἰγυπτίων τοσαύτη [ἦν], μαρτυροῦσι δὲ καὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων οἱ σοφώτατοι, Σόλων Θαλῆς Πλάτων Εὔδοξος Πυθαγόρας, ὡς δ' ἔνιοί φασι, καὶ Λυκοῦργος εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἀφικόμενοι καὶ συγγενόμενοι τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν. Εὔδοξον μὲν οὖν Χονούφεώς φασι Μεμφίτου διακοῦσαι, Σόλωνα δὲ Σόγχιτος Σαΐτου, Πυθαγόραν δ' Οἰνούφεως Ἡλιοπολίτου. Μάλιστα δ' οὗτος, ὡς ἔοικε, θαυμασθεὶς καὶ θαυμάσας τοὺς ἄνδρας ἀπεμιμήσατο τὸ συμβολικὸν αὐτῶν καὶ μυστηριῶδες ἀναμίξας αἰνίγμασι τὰ δόγματα· τῶν γὰρ καλουμένων ἱερογλυφικῶν γραμμάτων οὐθὲν ἀπολείπει τὰ πολλὰ τῶν Πυθαγορικῶν παραγγελμάτων, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ μὴ ‘ἐσθίειν ἐπὶ δίφρου’ μηδ' ‘ἐπὶ χοίνικος καθῆσθαι’ μηδὲ ‘φοίνικα φυτεύειν’ μηδὲ ‘πῦρ μαχαίρᾳ σκαλεύειν ἐν οἰκίᾳ.’
Δοκῶ δ' ἔγωγε καὶ τὸ τὴν μονάδα τοὺς ἄνδρας ὀνομάζειν Ἀπόλλωνα καὶ τὴν δυάδα Ἄρτεμιν, Ἀθηνᾶν δὲ τὴν ἑβδομάδα, Ποσειδῶνα δὲ τὸν πρῶτον κύβον ἐοικέναι τοῖς ἐπὶ τῶν ἱερῶν ἱδρυμένοις καὶ δρωμένοις νὴ Δία καὶ γραφομένοις. τὸν γὰρ βασιλέα καὶ κύριον Ὄσιριν ὀφθαλμῷ καὶ σκήπτρῳ γράφουσιν· ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ τοὔνομα διερμηνεύουσι πολυόφθαλμον, ὡς τοῦ μὲν <ος> τὸ πολύ, τοῦ δ' <ιρι> τὸν ὀφθαλμὸν Αἰγυπτίᾳ γλώττῃ φράζοντος· τὸν δ' οὐρανὸν ὡς ἀγήρω δι' ἀιδιότητα καρδίᾳ † θυμὸν ἐσχάρας ὑποκειμένης. Ἐν δὲ Θήβαις εἰκόνες ἦσαν ἀνακείμεναι δικαστῶν ἄχειρες, ἡ δὲ τοῦ ἀρχιδικαστοῦ καταμύουσα τοῖς ὄμμασιν, ὡς ἄδωρον ἅμα τὴν δικαιοσύνην καὶ ἀνέντευκτον οὖσαν. Τοῖς δὲ μαχίμοις κάνθαρος ἦν γλυφὴ σφραγῖδος· οὐ γὰρ ἔστι κάνθαρος θῆλυς, ἀλλὰ πάντες ἄρσενες. Τίκτουσι δὲ τὸν γόνον <ἀφιέντες> εἰς ὄνθον, ὃν σφαιροποιοῦσιν, οὐ τροφῆς μᾶλλον ὕλην ἢ γενέσεως χώραν παρασκευάζοντες.
XI. Ὅταν οὖν ἃ μυθολογοῦσιν Αἰγύπτιοι περὶ τῶν θεῶν ἀκούσῃς, πλάνας καὶ διαμελισμοὺς καὶ πολλὰ τοιαῦτα παθήματα, δεῖ τῶν προειρημένων μνημονεύειν καὶ μηδὲν οἴεσθαι τούτων λέγεσθαι γεγονὸς οὕτω καὶ πεπραγμένον· οὐ γὰρ τὸν κύνα κυρίως Ἑρμῆν λέγουσιν, ἀλλὰ τοῦ ζῴου τὸ φυλακτικὸν καὶ τὸ ἄγρυπνον καὶ τὸ φιλόσοφον, γνώσει καὶ ἀγνοίᾳ τὸ φίλον καὶ τὸ ἐχθρὸν ὁρίζοντος, ᾗ φησιν ὁ Πλάτων (Rep. 375e), τῷ λογιωτάτῳ τῶν θεῶν συνοικειοῦσιν· οὐδὲ τὸν Ἥλιον ἐκ λωτοῦ νομίζουσι βρέφος ἀνίσχειν νεογιλόν, ἀλλ' οὕτως ἀνατολὴν ἡλίου γράφουσι, τὴν ἐξ ὑγρῶν ἡλίου γινομένην ἄναψιν αἰνιττόμενοι.
Καὶ γὰρ τὸν ὠμότατον Περσῶν βασιλέα καὶ φοβερώτατον Ὦχον ἀποκτείναντα πολλούς, τέλος δὲ καὶ τὸν Ἆπιν ἀποσφάξαντα καὶ καταδειπνήσαντα μετὰ τῶν φίλων ἐκάλεσαν ‘μάχαιραν’ καὶ καλοῦσι μέχρι νῦν οὕτως ἐν τῷ καταλόγῳ τῶν βασιλέων, οὐ κυρίως δήπου τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ σημαίνοντες, ἀλλὰ τοῦ τρόπου τὴν σκληρότητα καὶ κακίαν ὀργάνῳ φονικῷ παρεικάζοντες. Οὕτω δὴ τὰ περὶ θεῶν ἀκούσασα καὶ δεχομένη παρὰ τῶν ἐξηγουμένων τὸν μῦθον ὁσίως καὶ φιλοσόφως καὶ δρῶσα μὲν ἀεὶ καὶ διαφυλάττουσα τῶν ἱερῶν τὰ νενομισμένα, τοῦ δ' ἀληθῆ δόξαν ἔχειν περὶ θεῶν μηδὲν οἰομένη μᾶλλον αὐτοῖς μήτε θύσειν μήτε ποιήσειν [αὐτοῖς] κεχαρισμένον, οὐδὲν ἔλαττον ἀποφεύξῃ κακὸν ἀθεότητος δεισιδαιμονίαν.
XII. Λεγέσθω δ' ὁ μῦθος οὗτος ἐν βραχυτάτοις ὡς ἔνεστι μάλιστα τῶν ἀχρήστων σφόδρα καὶ περιττῶν ἀφαιρεθέντων. Τῆς Ῥέας φασὶ κρύφα τῷ Κρόνῳ συγγενομένης αἰσθόμενον ἐπαράσασθαι τὸν Ἥλιον αὐτῇ μήτε μηνὶ μήτ' ἐνιαυτῷ τεκεῖν· ἐρῶντα δὲ τῆς θεοῦ τὸν Ἑρμῆν συνελθεῖν, εἶτα παίξαντα πέττια πρὸς τὴν Σελήνην καὶ ἀφελόντα τῶν φώτων ἑκάστου τὸ ἑβδομηκοστὸν ἐκ πάντων ἡμέρας πέντε συνελεῖν καὶ ταῖς ἑξήκοντα καὶ τριακοσίαις ἐπαγαγεῖν, ἃς νῦν ἐπαγομένας Αἰγύπτιοι καλοῦσι καὶ τῶν θεῶν γενεθλίους ἄγουσι. Τῇ μὲν πρώτῃ τὸν Ὄσιριν γενέσθαι καὶ φωνὴν αὐτῷ τεχθέντι συνεκπεσεῖν, ὡς ὁ πάντων κύριος εἰς φῶς πρόεισιν. Ἔνιοι δὲ Παμύλην τινὰ λέγουσιν ἐν Θήβαις ὑδρευόμενον ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ τοῦ Διὸς φωνὴν ἀκοῦσαι διακελευομένην ἀνειπεῖν μετὰ βοῆς, ὅτι μέγας βασιλεὺς εὐεργέτης Ὄσιρις γέγονε, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο θρέψαι τὸν Ὄσιριν ἐγχειρίσαντος αὐτῷ τοῦ Κρόνου καὶ τὴν τῶν Παμυλίων ἑορτὴν αὐτῷ τελεῖσθαι Φαλληφορίοις ἐοικυῖαν.
Τῇ δὲ δευτέρᾳ τὸν Ἀρούηριν, [ὃν Ἀπόλλωνα,] ὃν καὶ πρεσβύτερον Ὧρον ἔνιοι καλοῦσι, τῇ τρίτῃ δὲ Τυφῶνα μὴ καιρῷ μηδὲ κατὰ χώραν, ἀλλ' ἀναρρήξαντα πληγῇ διὰ τῆς πλευρᾶς ἐξαλέσθαι. Τετάρτῃ δὲ τὴν Ἶσιν ἐν πανύγροις γενέσθαι, τῇ δὲ πέμπτῃ Νέφθυν, ἣν καὶ Τελευτὴν καὶ Ἀφροδίτην, ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ Νίκην ὀνομάζουσιν. Εἶναι δὲ τὸν μὲν Ὄσιριν ἐξ Ἡλίου καὶ τὸν Ἀρούηριν, ἐκ δ' Ἑρμοῦ τὴν Ἶσιν, ἐκ δὲ τοῦ Κρόνου τὸν Τυφῶνα καὶ τὴν Νέφθυν. Διὸ καὶ τὴν τρίτην τῶν ἐπαγομένων ἀποφράδα νομίζοντες οἱ βασιλεῖς οὐκ ἐχρημάτιζον οὐδ' ἐθεράπευον αὑτοὺς μέχρι νυκτός. Γήμασθαι δὲ τῷ Τυφῶνι τὴν Νέφθυν, Ἶσιν δὲ καὶ Ὄσιριν ἐρῶντας ἀλλήλων καὶ πρὶν ἢ γενέσθαι κατὰ γαστρὸς ὑπὸ σκότῳ συνεῖναι. Ἔνιοι δέ φασι καὶ τὸν Ἀρούηριν οὕτω γεγονέναι καὶ καλεῖσθαι πρεσβύτερον Ὧρον ὑπ' Αἰγυπτίων, Ἀπόλλωνα δ' ὑφ' Ἑλλήνων.
XIII. Βασιλεύοντα δ' Ὄσιριν Αἰγυπτίους μὲν εὐθὺς ἀπόρου βίου καὶ θηριώδους ἀπαλλάξαι καρπούς τε δείξαντα καὶ νόμους θέμενον αὐτοῖς καὶ θεοὺς διδάξαντα τιμᾶν· ὕστερον δὲ γῆν πᾶσαν ἡμερούμενον ἐπελθεῖν ἐλάχιστα μὲν ὅπλων δεηθέντα, πειθοῖ δὲ τοὺς πλείστους καὶ λόγῳ μετ' ᾠδῆς πάσης καὶ μουσικῆς θελγομένους προσαγόμενον· ὅθεν Ἕλλησι δόξαι Διονύσῳ τὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι. Τυφῶνα δ' ἀπόντος μὲν οὐθὲν νεωτερίζειν διὰ τὸ τὴν Ἶσιν εὖ μάλα φυλάττεσθαι καὶ προσέχειν ἐγκρατῶς ἔχουσαν, ἐπανελθόντι δὲ δόλον μηχανᾶσθαι συνωμότας ἄνδρας ἑβδομήκοντα καὶ δύο πεποιημένον καὶ συνεργὸν ἔχοντα βασίλισσαν ἐξ Αἰθιοπίας παροῦσαν, ἣν ὀνομάζουσιν Ἀσώ· τοῦ δ' Ὀσίριδος ἐκμετρησάμενον λάθρα τὸ σῶμα καὶ κατασκευάσαντα πρὸς τὸ μέγεθος λάρνακα καλὴν καὶ κεκοσμημένην περιττῶς εἰσενεγκεῖν εἰς τὸ συμπόσιον.
Ἡσθέντων δὲ τῇ ὄψει καὶ θαυμασάντων ὑποσχέσθαι τὸν Τυφῶνα μετὰ παιδιᾶς, ὃς ἂν ἐγκατακλιθεὶς ἐξισωθῇ, διδόναι δῶρον αὐτῷ τὴν λάρνακα. πειρωμένων δὲ πάντων καθ' ἕκαστον, ὡς οὐδεὶς ἐνήρμοττεν, ἐμβάντα τὸν Ὄσιριν κατακλιθῆναι· τοὺς δὲ συνωμότας ἐπιδραμόντας ἐπιρράξαι τὸ πῶμα καὶ τὰ μὲν γόμφοις καταλαβόντας ἔξωθεν, τῶν δὲ θερμὸν μόλιβδον καταχεαμένους ἐπὶ τὸν ποταμὸν ἐξενεγκεῖν καὶ μεθεῖναι διὰ τοῦ Τανιτικοῦ στόματος εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ὃ διὰ τοῦτο μισητὸν ἔτι νῦν καὶ κατάπτυστον νομίζειν Αἰγυπτίους. Ταῦτα δὲ πραχθῆναι λέγουσιν ἑβδόμῃ ἐπὶ δέκα μηνὸς Ἀθύρ, ἐν ᾧ τὸν σκορπίον ὁ ἥλιος διέξεισιν, ὄγδοον ἔτος καὶ εἰκοστὸν ἐκεῖνο βασιλεύοντος Ὀσίριδος. ἔνιοι δὲ βεβιωκέναι φασὶν αὐτόν, οὐ βεβασιλευκέναι χρόνον τοσοῦτον.
XIV. Πρώτων δὲ τῶν τὸν περὶ Χέμμιν οἰκούντων τόπον Πανῶν καὶ Σατύρων τὸ πάθος αἰσθομένων καὶ λόγον ἐμβαλόντων περὶ τοῦ γεγονότος τὰς μὲν αἰφνιδίους τῶν ὄχλων ταραχὰς καὶ πτοήσεις ἔτι νῦν διὰ τοῦτο πανικὰς προσαγορεύεσθαι· τὴν δ' Ἶσιν αἰσθομένην κείρασθαι μὲν ἐνταῦθα τῶν πλοκάμων ἕνα καὶ πένθιμον στολὴν ἀναλαβεῖν, ὅπου τῇ πόλει μέχρι νῦν ὄνομα Κοπτώ. Ἕτεροι δὲ τοὔνομα σημαίνειν οἴονται στέρησιν· τὸ γὰρ ἀποστερεῖν ‘κόπτειν’ λέγουσι. πλανωμένην δὲ πάντῃ καὶ ἀποροῦσαν οὐδένα παρελθεῖν ἀπροσαύδητον, ἀλλὰ καὶ παιδαρίοις συντυχοῦσαν ἐρωτᾶν περὶ τῆς λάρνακος· τὰ δὲ τυχεῖν ἑωρακότα καὶ φράσαι τὸ στόμα, δι' οὗ τὸ ἀγγεῖον οἱ φίλοι τοῦ Τυφῶνος εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν ἔωσαν. Ἐκ τούτου τὰ παιδάρια μαντικὴν δύναμιν ἔχειν οἴεσθαι τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους καὶ μάλιστα ταῖς τούτων ὀττεύεσθαι κληδόσι παιζόντων ἐν ἱεροῖς καὶ φθεγγομένων ὅ τι ἂν τύχωσιν.
Αἰσθομένην δὲ τῇ ἀδελφῇ [ἐρῶντα] συγγεγονέναι δι' ἄγνοιαν ὡς ἑαυτῇ τὸν Ὄσιριν καὶ τεκμήριον ἰδοῦσαν τὸν μελιλώτινον στέφανον, ὃν ἐκεῖνος παρὰ τῇ Νέφθυι κατέλιπε, τὸ παιδίον ζητεῖν (ἐκθεῖναι γὰρ εὐθὺς τεκοῦσαν διὰ φόβον τοῦ Τυφῶνος)· εὑρεθὲν <δὲ> χαλεπῶς καὶ μόγις κυνῶν ἐπαγόντων τὴν Ἶσιν ἐκτραφῆναι καὶ γενέσθαι φύλακα καὶ ὀπαδὸν αὐτῆς Ἄνουβιν προσαγορευθέντα καὶ λεγόμενον τοὺς θεοὺς φρουρεῖν, ὥσπερ οἱ κύνες τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.
XV. Ἐκ δὲ τούτου πυθέσθαι περὶ τῆς λάρνακος, ὡς πρὸς τὴν Βύβλου χώραν ὑπὸ τῆς θαλάσσης ἐκκυμανθεῖσαν αὐτὴν ἐρείκῃ τινὶ μαλθακῶς ὁ κλύδων προσέμιξεν· ἡ δ' ἐρείκη κάλλιστον ἔρνος ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ καὶ μέγιστον ἀναδραμοῦσα περιέπτυξε καὶ περιέφυ καὶ ἀπέκρυψεν ἐντὸς ἑαυτῆς. Θαυμάσας δ' ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ φυτοῦ τὸ μέγεθος καὶ περιτεμὼν τὸν περιέχοντα τὴν σορὸν οὐχ ὁρωμένην κορμὸν ἔρεισμα τῇ στέγῃ ὑπέστησε. Ταῦτά τε πνεύματί φασι δαιμονίῳ φήμης πυθομένην τὴν Ἶσιν εἰς Βύβλον ἀφικέσθαι καὶ καθίσασαν ἐπὶ κρήνης ταπεινὴν καὶ δεδακρυμένην ἄλλῳ μὲν μηδενὶ προσδιαλέγεσθαι, τῆς δὲ βασιλίδος τὰς θεραπαινίδας ἀσπάζεσθαι καὶ φιλοφρονεῖσθαι τήν τε κόμην παραπλέκουσαν αὐτῶν καὶ τῷ χρωτὶ θαυμαστὴν εὐωδίαν ἐπιπνέουσαν ἀφ' ἑαυτῆς. Ἰδούσης δὲ τῆς βασιλίδος τὰς θεραπαινίδας ἵμερον ἐμπεσεῖν τῆς ξένης τῶν τε τριχῶν *** τοῦ τε χρωτὸς ἀμβροσίαν πνέοντος· οὕτω δὲ μεταπεμφθεῖσαν καὶ γενομένην συνήθη ποιήσασθαι τοῦ παιδίου [τὴν] τίτθην. Ὄνομα δὲ τῷ μὲν βασιλεῖ Μάλκανδρον εἶναί φασιν· αὐτῇ δ' οἱ μὲν Ἀστάρτην οἱ δὲ Σάωσιν οἱ δὲ Νεμανοῦν, ὅπερ ἂν Ἕλληνες Ἀθηναΐδα προσείποιεν.
XVI. Τρέφειν δὲ τὴν Ἶσιν ἀντὶ μαστοῦ τὸν δάκτυλον εἰς τὸ στόμα τοῦ παιδίου διδοῦσαν, νύκτωρ δὲ περικαίειν τὰ θνητὰ τοῦ σώματος· αὐτὴν δὲ γενομένην χελιδόνα τῇ κίονι περιπέτεσθαι καὶ θρηνεῖν, ἄχρι οὗ τὴν βασίλισσαν παραφυλάξασαν καὶ ἐγκραγοῦσαν, ὡς εἶδε περικαιόμενον τὸ βρέφος, ἀφελέσθαι τὴν ἀθανασίαν αὐτοῦ. Τὴν δὲ θεὰν φανερὰν γενομένην αἰτήσασθαι τὴν κίονα τῆς στέγης· ὑφελοῦσαν δὲ ῥᾷστα περικόψαι τὴν ἐρείκην, εἶτα ταύτην μὲν ὀθόνῃ περικαλύψασαν καὶ μύρον καταχεαμένην ἐγχειρίσαι τοῖς βασιλεῦσι καὶ νῦν ἔτι σέβεσθαι Βυβλίους τὸ ξύλον ἐν ἱερῷ κείμενον Ἴσιδος. Τῇ δὲ σορῷ περιπεσεῖν καὶ κωκῦσαι τηλικοῦτον, ὥστε τῶν παίδων τοῦ βασιλέως τὸν νεώτερον ἐκθανεῖν· τὸν δὲ πρεσβύτερον μεθ' ἑαυτῆς ἔχουσαν καὶ τὴν σορὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐνθεμένην ἀναχθῆναι. Τοῦ δὲ Φαίδρου ποταμοῦ πνεῦμα τραχύτερον ἐκθρέψαντος ὑπὸ τὴν ἕω θυμωθεῖσαν ἀναξηρᾶναι τὸ ῥεῖθρον.
XVII. Ὅπου δὲ πρῶτον ἐρημίας ἔτυχεν, αὐτὴν καθ' ἑαυτὴν γενομένην ἀνοῖξαι τὴν λάρνακα καὶ τῷ προσώπῳ τὸ πρόσωπον ἐπιθεῖσαν ἀσπάσασθαι καὶ δακρύειν. Τοῦ δὲ παιδίου σιωπῇ προσελθόντος ἐκ τῶν ὄπισθεν καὶ καταμανθάνοντος αἰσθομένην μεταστραφῆναι καὶ δεινὸν ὑπ' ὀργῆς ἐμβλέψαι· τὸ δὲ παιδίον οὐκ ἀνασχέσθαι τὸ τάρβος, ἀλλ' ἀποθανεῖν. οἱ δέ φασιν οὐχ οὕτως, ἀλλ' ὡς εἴρηται *** τρόπον ἐκπεσεῖν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ἔχειν δὲ τιμὰς διὰ τὴν θεόν· ὃν γὰρ ᾄδουσιν Αἰγύπτιοι παρὰ τὰ συμπόσια Μανερῶτα, τοῦτον εἶναι.
Τινὲς δὲ τὸν μὲν παῖδα καλεῖσθαι Παλαιστινὸν ἢ Πηλούσιον καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἐπώνυμον ἀπ' αὐτοῦ γενέσθαι κτισθεῖσαν ὑπὸ τῆς θεοῦ· τὸν δ' ᾀδόμενον Μανερῶτα πρῶτον εὑρεῖν μουσικὴν ἱστοροῦσιν. Ἔνιοι δέ φασιν ὄνομα μὲν οὐδενὸς εἶναι, διάλεκτον δὲ πίνουσιν ἀνθρώποις καὶ θαλειάζουσι πρέπουσαν ‘αἴσιμα τὰ τοιαῦτα παρείη·’ τοῦτο γὰρ τῷ Μανερῶτι φραζόμενον ἀναφωνεῖν ἑκάστοτε τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους. ὥσπερ ἀμέλει καὶ τὸ δεικνύμενον αὐτοῖς εἴδωλον ἀνθρώπου τεθνηκότος ἐν κιβωτίῳ περιφερόμενον οὐκ ἔστιν ὑπόμνημα τοῦ περὶ Ὀσίριδος πάθους, ᾗ τινες ὑπολαμβάνουσιν, ἀλλ' οἰνωμένους παρακαλοῦντες αὑτοὺς χρῆσθαι τοῖς παροῦσι καὶ ἀπολαύειν, ὡς πάντας αὐτίκα μάλα τοιούτους ἐσομένους, ἄχαριν ἐπίκωμον ἐπεισάγουσι.
XVIII. Τῆς δ' Ἴσιδος πρὸς τὸν υἱὸν Ὧρον ἐν Βούτῳ τρεφόμενον πορευθείσης τὸ δ' ἀγγεῖον ἐκποδὼν ἀποθεμένης Τυφῶνα κυνηγετοῦντα νύκτωρ πρὸς τὴν σελήνην ἐντυχεῖν αὐτῷ καὶ τὸ σῶμα γνωρίσαντα διελεῖν εἰς τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα μέρη καὶ διαρρῖψαι, τὴν δ' Ἶσιν πυθομένην ἀναζητεῖν ἐν βάριδι παπυρίνῃ τὰ [δ'] ἕλη διεκπλέουσαν· ὅθεν οὐκ ἀδικεῖσθαι τοὺς ἐν παπυρίνοις σκάφεσι πλέοντας ὑπὸ τῶν κροκοδείλων ἢ φοβουμένων ἢ σεβομένων διὰ τὴν θεόν. ἐκ τούτου δὲ καὶ πολλοὺς τάφους Ὀσίριδος ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ λέγεσθαι διὰ τὸ προστυγχάνουσαν ἑκάστῳ μέρει ταφὰς ποιεῖν.
Οἱ δ' οὔ φασιν, ἀλλ' εἴδωλα ποιουμένην διδόναι καθ' ἑκάστην πόλιν ὡς τὸ σῶμα διδοῦσαν ὅπως παρὰ πλείοσιν ἔχῃ τιμὰς καί, ἂν ὁ Τυφὼν ἐπικρατήσῃ τοῦ Ὥρου, τὸν ἀληθινὸν τάφον ζητῶν πολλῶν λεγομένων καὶ δεικνυμένων ἀπαγορεύσῃ. Μόνον δὲ τῶν μερῶν τοῦ Ὀσίριδος τὴν Ἶσιν οὐχ εὑρεῖν τὸ αἰδοῖον· εὐθὺς γὰρ εἰς τὸν ποταμὸν ῥιφῆναι καὶ γεύσασθαι τόν τε λεπιδωτὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸν φάγρον καὶ τὸν ὀξύρυγχον, [ὡς] οὓς μάλιστα τῶν ἰχθύων ἀφοσιοῦσθαι· τὴν δ' Ἶσιν ἀντ' ἐκείνου μίμημα ποιησαμένην καθιερῶσαι τὸν φαλλόν, ᾧ καὶ νῦν ἑορτάζειν τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους.
XIX. Ἔπειτα τῷ Ὥρῳ τὸν Ὄσιριν ἐξ Ἅιδου παραγενόμενον διαπονεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν μάχην καὶ ἀσκεῖν, εἶτα διερωτῆσαι, τί κάλλιστον ἡγεῖται· τοῦ δὲ φήσαντος ‘τὸ πατρὶ καὶ μητρὶ τιμωρεῖν κακῶς παθοῦσι’ δεύτερον ἐρέσθαι, τί χρησιμώτατον οἴεται ζῷον εἰς μάχην ἐξιοῦσι· τοῦ δ' Ὥρου ‘ἵππον’ εἰπόντος ἐπιθαυμάσαι καὶ διαπορῆσαι, πῶς οὐ λέοντα μᾶλλον ἀλλ' ἵππον· εἰπεῖν οὖν τὸν Ὧρον, ὡς λέων μὲν ὠφέλιμον ἐπιδεομένῳ βοηθείας, ἵππος δὲ φεύγοντα διασπάσαι καὶ καταναλῶσαι τὸν πολέμιον. Ἀκούσαντ' οὖν ἡσθῆναι τὸν Ὄσιριν, ὡς ἱκανῶς παρασκευασαμένου τοῦ Ὥρου. Λέγεται δ' ὅτι πολλῶν μετατιθεμένων ἀεὶ πρὸς τὸν Ὧρον καὶ ἡ παλλακὴ τοῦ Τυφῶνος ἀφίκετο Θούηρις· ὄφις δέ τις ἐπιδιώκων αὐτὴν ὑπὸ τῶν περὶ τὸν Ὧρον κατεκόπη, καὶ νῦν διὰ τοῦτο σχοινίον τι προβάλλοντες εἰς μέσον κατακόπτουσι.
Τὴν μὲν οὖν μάχην ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας γενέσθαι καὶ κρατῆσαι τὸν Ὧρον· τὸν Τυφῶνα δὲ τὴν Ἶσιν δεδεμένον παραλαβοῦσαν οὐκ ἀνελεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ λῦσαι καὶ μεθεῖναι· τὸν δ' Ὧρον οὐ μετρίως ἐνεγκεῖν, ἀλλ' ἐπιβαλόντα τῇ μητρὶ τὰς χεῖρας ἀποσπάσαι τῆς κεφαλῆς τὸ βασίλειον· Ἑρμῆν δὲ περιθεῖναι βούκρανον αὐτῇ κράνος. Τοῦ δὲ Τυφῶνος δίκην τῷ Ὥρῳ νοθείας λαχόντος βοηθήσαντος [δὲ] τοῦ Ἑρμοῦ [καὶ] τὸν Ὧρον ὑπὸ τῶν θεῶν γνήσιον κριθῆναι· τὸν δὲ Τυφῶνα δυσὶν ἄλλαις μάχαις καταπολεμηθῆναι. Τὴν δ' Ἶσιν ἐξ Ὀσίριδος μετὰ τὴν τελευτὴν συγγενομένου τεκεῖν ἠλιτόμηνον καὶ ἀσθενῆ τοῖς κάτωθεν γυίοις τὸν Ἁρποκράτην.
XX. Ταῦτα σχεδόν ἐστι τοῦ μύθου τὰ κεφάλαια τῶν δυσφημοτάτων ἐξαιρεθέντων, οἷόν ἐστι τὸ περὶ τὸν Ὥρου διαμελισμὸν καὶ τὸν Ἴσιδος ἀποκεφαλισμόν. Ὅτι μὲν οὖν, εἰ ταῦτα περὶ τῆς μακαρίας καὶ ἀφθάρτου φύσεως, καθ' ἣν μάλιστα νοεῖται τὸ θεῖον, ὡς ἀληθῶς πραχθέντα καὶ συμπεσόντα δοξάζουσι καὶ λέγουσιν, ‘ἀποπτύσαι δεῖ καὶ καθήρασθαι’ τὸ ‘στόμα’ κατ' Αἰσχύλον, οὐδὲν δεῖ λέγειν πρὸς σέ· καὶ γὰρ αὐτὴ δυσκολαίνεις τοῖς οὕτω παρανόμους καὶ βαρβάρους δόξας περὶ θεῶν ἔχουσιν· ὅτι δ' οὐκ ἔοικε ταῦτα κομιδῇ μυθεύμασιν ἀραιοῖς καὶ διακένοις πλάσμασιν, οἷα ποιηταὶ καὶ λογογράφοι καθάπερ οἱ ἀράχναι γεννῶντες ἀφ' ἑαυτῶν [ἀπ]ἀρχὰς ἀνυποθέτους ὑφαίνουσι καὶ ἀποτείνουσιν, ἀλλ' ἔχει τινὰς ἀπορίας καὶ παθῶν διηγήσεις, <γινώσκεις> αὐτή.
Καὶ καθάπερ οἱ μαθηματικοὶ τὴν ἶριν ἔμφασιν εἶναι τοῦ ἡλίου λέγουσι ποικιλλομένην τῇ πρὸς τὸ νέφος ἀναχωρήσει τῆς ὄψεως, οὕτως ὁ μῦθος ἐνταῦθα λόγου τινὸς ἔμφασίς ἐστιν ἀνακλῶντος ἐπ' ἄλλα τὴν διάνοιαν, ὡς ὑποδηλοῦσιν αἵ τε θυσίαι τὸ πένθιμον ἔχουσαι καὶ σκυθρωπὸν ἐμφαινόμενον αἵ τε τῶν ναῶν διαθέσεις πῆ μὲν ἀνειμένων εἰς πτερὰ καὶ δρόμους ὑπαιθρίους καὶ καθαρούς, πῆ δὲ κρυπτὰ καὶ σκότια κατὰ γῆς ἐχόντων στολιστήρια θηκαίοις ἐοικότα καὶ σηκοῖς, οὐχ ἥκιστα δ' ἡ τῶν Ὀσιρείων δόξα, πολλαχοῦ κεῖσθαι λεγομένου τοῦ σώματος· τήν τε γὰρ Διοχίτην ὀνομάζεσθαι πολίχνην λέγουσιν, ὡς μόνην τὸν ἀληθινὸν ἔχουσαν, ἔν τ' Ἀβύδῳ τοὺς εὐδαίμονας τῶν Αἰγυπτίων καὶ δυνατοὺς μάλιστα θάπτεσθαι φιλοτιμουμένους ὁμοτάφους εἶναι τοῦ σώματος Ὀσίριδος. Ἐν δὲ Μέμφει τρέφεσθαι τὸν Ἆπιν εἴδωλον ὄντα τῆς ἐκείνου ψυχῆς, ὅπου καὶ τὸ σῶμα κεῖσθαι·
XXI. καὶ τὴν μὲν πόλιν οἱ μὲν ὅρμον ἀγαθῶν ἑρμηνεύουσιν, οἱ δ' ἰδίως τάφον Ὀσίριδος. τὴν δὲ πρὸς Φιλαῖς † νιστιτάνην ἄλλως μὲν ἄβατον ἅπασι καὶ ἀπροσπέλαστον εἶναι καὶ μηδ' ὄρνιθας ἐπ' αὐτὴν καταίρειν μηδ' ἰχθῦς προσπελάζειν, ἑνὶ δὲ καιρῷ τοὺς ἱερεῖς διαβαίνοντας ἐναγίζειν καὶ καταστέφειν τὸ σῆμα μηδίθης φυτῷ περισκιαζόμενον ὑπεραίροντι πάσης ἐλαίας μέγεθος. Εὔδοξος δὲ πολλῶν τάφων ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ λεγομένων ἐν Βουσίριδι τὸ σῶμα κεῖσθαι· καὶ γὰρ πατρίδα ταύτην γεγονέναι τοῦ Ὀσίριδος· οὐκέτι μέντοι λόγου δεῖσθαι τὴν Ταφόσιριν· αὐτὸ γὰρ φράζειν τοὔνομα ταφὴν Ὀσίριδος. ἐῶ δὲ τομὴν ξύλου καὶ σχίσιν λίνου καὶ χοὰς χεομένας διὰ τὸ πολλὰ τῶν μυστικῶν ἀναμεμῖχθαι τούτοις.
Οὐ μόνον δὲ τούτων οἱ ἱερεῖς λέγουσιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων θεῶν, ὅσοι μὴ ἀγέννητοι μηδ' ἄφθαρτοι, τὰ μὲν σώματα παρ' αὐτοῖς κεῖσθαι καμόντα καὶ θεραπεύεσθαι, τὰς δὲ ψυχὰς ἐν οὐρανῷ λάμπειν ἄστρα καὶ καλεῖσθαι κύνα μὲν τὴν Ἴσιδος ὑφ' Ἑλλήνων, ὑπ' Αἰγυπτίων δὲ Σῶθιν, Ὠρίωνα δὲ τὴν Ὥρου, τὴν δὲ Τυφῶνος ἄρκτον. εἰς δὲ τὰς ταφὰς τῶν τιμωμένων ζῴων τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους συντεταγμένα τελεῖν, μόνους δὲ μὴ διδόναι τοὺς Θηβαΐδα κατοικοῦντας, ὡς θνητὸν θεὸν οὐδένα νομίζοντας, ἀλλ' ὃν καλοῦσιν αὐτοὶ Κνήφ, ἀγέννητον ὄντα καὶ ἀθάνατον.
XXII. Πολλῶν δὲ τοιούτων λεγομένων καὶ δεικνυμένων οἱ μὲν οἰόμενοι βασιλέων ταῦτα καὶ τυράννων δι' ἀρετὴν ὑπερφέρουσαν ἢ δύναμιν ἢ ἀξίωμα δόξαν θεότητος ἐπιγραψαμένων εἶτα χρησαμένων τύχαις ἔργα καὶ πάθη δεινὰ καὶ μεγάλα διαμνημονεύεσθαι ῥᾴστῃ μὲν ἀποδράσει τοῦ λόγου χρῶνται καὶ τὸ δύσφημον οὐ φαύλως ἀπὸ τῶν θεῶν ἐπ' ἀνθρώπους μεταφέρουσι καὶ ταύτας ἔχουσιν ἀπὸ τῶν ἱστορουμένων βοηθείας. Οἱ γὰρ Αἰγύπτιοι τὸν μὲν Ἑρμῆν τῷ σώματι γενέσθαι γαλιάγκωνα, τὸν δὲ Τυφῶνα τῇ χρόᾳ πυρρόν, λευκὸν δὲ τὸν Ὧρον καὶ μελάγχρουν τὸν Ὄσιριν, ὡς τῇ φύσει γεγονότας ἀνθρώπους. Ἔτι δὲ καὶ στρατηγὸν ὀνομάζουσιν Ὄσιριν καὶ κυβερνήτην Κάνωβον, οὗ φασιν ἐπώνυμον γεγονέναι τὸν ἀστέρα, καὶ τὸ πλοῖον, ὃ καλοῦσιν Ἕλληνες Ἀργώ, τῆς Ὀσίριδος νεὼς εἴδωλον ἐπὶ τιμῇ κατηστερισμένον οὐ μακρὰν φέρεσθαι τοῦ Ὠρίωνος καὶ τοῦ Κυνός, ὧν τὸν μὲν Ὥρου τὸν δ' Ἴσιδος ἱερὸν [Αἰγύπτιοι] νομίζουσιν.
XXIII. Ὀκνῶ δέ, μὴ τοῦτ' ᾖ τὰ ἀκίνητα κινεῖν καὶ ‘πολεμεῖν οὐ τῷ πολλῷ χρόνῳ’ (κατὰ Σιμωνίδην) μόνον, ‘πολλοῖς δ' ἀνθρώπων ἔθνεσι’ καὶ γένεσι κατόχοις ὑπὸ τῆς πρὸς τοὺς θεοὺς τούτους ὁσιότητος, οὐδὲν ἀπολείποντας ἐξ οὐρανοῦ μεταφέρειν ἐπὶ γῆν ὀνόματα τηλικαῦτα καὶ τιμὴν καὶ πίστιν ὀλίγου δεῖν ἅπασιν ἐκ πρώτης γενέσεως ἐνδεδυκυῖαν ἐξιστάναι καὶ ἀναλύειν, μεγάλας μὲν τῷ ἀθέῳ Λέοντι κλισιάδας ἀνοίγοντας [καὶ] ἐξανθρωπίζοντι τὰ θεῖα, λαμπρὰν δὲ τοῖς Εὐημέρου τοῦ Μεσσηνίου φενακισμοῖς παρρησίαν διδόντας, ὃς αὐτὸς ἀντίγραφα συνθεὶς ἀπίστου καὶ ἀνυπάρκτου μυθολογίας πᾶσαν ἀθεότητα κατασκεδάννυσι τῆς οἰκουμένης, τοὺς νομιζομένους θεοὺς πάντας ὁμαλῶς διαγράφων εἰς ὀνόματα στρατηγῶν καὶ ναυάρχων καὶ βασιλέων ὡς δὴ πάλαι γεγονότων ἐν δὲ Πάγχοντι γράμμασι χρυσοῖς ἀναγεγραμμένων, οἷς οὔτε βάρβαρος οὐδεὶς οὔθ' Ἕλλην, ἀλλὰ μόνος Εὐήμερος, ὡς ἔοικε, πλεύσας εἰς τοὺς μηδαμόθι γῆς γεγονότας μηδ' ὄντας Παγχώους καὶ Τριφύλλους ἐντετύχηκε.
XXIV. Καίτοι μεγάλαι μὲν ὑμνοῦνται πράξεις ἐν Ἀσσυρίοις Σεμιράμιος, μεγάλαι δὲ Σεσώστριος ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ· Φρύγες δὲ μέχρι νῦν τὰ λαμπρὰ καὶ θαυμαστὰ τῶν ἔργων Μανικὰ καλοῦσι διὰ τὸ Μάνην τινὰ τῶν πάλαι βασιλέων ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα καὶ δυνατὸν γενέσθαι παρ' αὐτοῖς, ὃν ἔνιοι Μάσνην καλοῦσι· Κῦρος δὲ Πέρσας Μακεδόνας δ' Ἀλέξανδρος ὀλίγου δεῖν ἐπὶ πέρας τῆς γῆς κρατοῦντας προήγαγον· ἀλλ' ὄνομα καὶ μνήμην βασιλέων ἀγαθῶν ἔχουσιν. ‘Εἰ δέ τινες ἐξαρθέντες ὑπὸ μεγαλαυχίας’ ὥς φησιν ὁ Πλάτων (Legg. 716a) ‘ἅμα νεότητι καὶ ἀνοίᾳ φλεγόμενοι τὴν ψυχὴν μεθ' ὕβρεως’ ἐδέξαντο θεῶν ἐπωνυμίας καὶ ναῶν ἱδρύσεις, βραχὺν ἤνθησεν ἡ δόξα χρόνον, εἶτα κενότητα καὶ ἀλαζονείαν μετ' ἀσεβείας καὶ παρανομίας προσοφλόντες ‘ὠκύμοροι καπνοῖο δίκην ἀρθέντες ἀπέπταν’ καὶ νῦν ὥσπερ ἀγώγιμοι δραπέται τῶν ἱερῶν καὶ τῶν βωμῶν ἀποσπασθέντες οὐδὲν ἀλλ' ἢ τὰ μνήματα καὶ τοὺς τάφους ἔχουσιν.
Ὅθεν Ἀντίγονος ὁ γέρων Ἑρμοδότου τινὸς ἐν ποιήμασιν αὐτὸν Ἡλίου παῖδα καὶ θεὸν ἀναγορεύοντος ‘οὐ τοιαῦτά μοι’ εἶπεν ‘ὁ λασανοφόρος σύνοιδεν’. Εὖ δὲ καὶ Λύσιππος ὁ πλάστης Ἀπελλῆν ἐμέμψατο τὸν ζωγράφον, ὅτι τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρου γράφων εἰκόνα κεραυνὸν ἐνεχείρισεν· αὐτὸς δὲ λόγχην, ἧς τὴν δόξαν οὐδὲ εἷς ἀφαιρήσεται χρόνος ἀληθινὴν καὶ ἰδίαν οὖσαν.
XXV. Βέλτιον οὖν οἱ τὰ περὶ τὸν Τυφῶνα καὶ Ὄσιριν καὶ Ἶσιν ἱστορούμενα μήτε θεῶν παθήματα μήτ' ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ δαιμόνων μεγάλων εἶναι νομίζοντες, οὓς καὶ Πλάτων καὶ Πυθαγόρας καὶ Ξενοκράτης καὶ Χρύσιππος ἑπόμενοι τοῖς πάλαι θεολόγοις ἐρρωμενεστέρους μὲν ἀνθρώπων γεγονέναι λέγουσι καὶ πολὺ τῇ δυνάμει τὴν φύσιν ὑπερφέροντας ἡμῶν, τὸ δὲ θεῖον οὐκ ἀμιγὲς οὐδ' ἄκρατον ἔχοντας, ἀλλὰ καὶ ψυχῆς φύσει καὶ σώματος αἰσθήσει [ἐν] συνειληχὸς ἡδονὴν δεχομένῃ καὶ πόνον καὶ ὅσα ταύταις ἐπιγενόμενα ταῖς μεταβολαῖς πάθη τοὺς μὲν μᾶλλον τοὺς δ' ἧττον ἐπιταράττει· γίνονται γὰρ ὡς ἐν ἀνθρώποις καὶ δαίμοσιν ἀρετῆς διαφοραὶ καὶ κακίας. τὰ γὰρ Γιγαντικὰ καὶ Τιτανικὰ παρ' Ἕλλησιν ᾀδόμενα καὶ Κρόνου τινὲς ἄθεσμοι πράξεις καὶ Πύθωνος ἀντιτάξεις πρὸς Ἀπόλλωνα φυγαί τε Διονύσου καὶ πλάναι Δήμητρος οὐδὲν ἀπολείπουσι τῶν Ὀσιριακῶν καὶ Τυφωνικῶν ἄλλων θ' ὧν πᾶσιν ἔξεστιν ἀνέδην μυθολογουμένων ἀκούειν· ὅσα τε μυστικοῖς ἱεροῖς περικαλυπτόμενα καὶ τελεταῖς ἄρρητα διασῴζεται καὶ ἀθέατα πρὸς τοὺς πολλούς, ὅμοιον ἔχει λόγον.
XXVI. ἀκούομεν δὲ καὶ Ὁμήρου τοὺς μὲν ἀγαθοὺς διαφόρως ‘θεοειδέας’ ἑκάστοτε <καλοῦντος> καὶ ‘ἀντιθέους’ καί ‘θεῶν ἄπο μήδε' ἔχοντας’, τῷ δ' ἀπὸ τῶν δαιμόνων προσρήματι χρωμένου κοινῶς ἐπί τε χρηστῶν καὶ φαύλων
Ὅθεν ὁ μὲν Πλάτων (Legg. 717a b) Ὀλυμπίοις θεοῖς τὰ δεξιὰ καὶ περιττά, τὰ δ' ἀντίφωνα τούτων δαίμοσιν ἀποδίδωσιν· ὁ δὲ Ξενοκράτης καὶ τῶν ἡμερῶν τὰς ἀποφράδας καὶ τῶν ἑορτῶν, ὅσαι πληγάς τινας ἢ κοπετοὺς ἢ νηστείας ἢ δυσφημίας ἢ αἰσχρολογίαν ἔχουσιν, οὔτε θεῶν τιμαῖς οὔτε δαιμόνων οἴεται προσήκειν χρηστῶν, ἀλλ' εἶναι φύσεις ἐν τῷ περιέχοντι μεγάλας μὲν καὶ ἰσχυράς, δυστρόπους δὲ καὶ σκυθρωπάς, αἳ χαίρουσι τοῖς τοιούτοις καὶ τυγχάνουσαι πρὸς οὐθὲν ἄλλο χεῖρον τρέπονται. τοὺς δὲ χρηστοὺς πάλιν καὶ ἀγαθοὺς ὅ θ' Ἡσίοδος ‘ἁγνοὺς δαίμονας’ καὶ ‘φύλακας ἀνθρώπων’ προσαγορεύει, ‘πλουτοδότας καὶ τοῦτο γέρας βασιλήιον ἔχοντας’· ὅ τε Πλάτων (Conv. 202e) ἑρμηνευτικὸν τὸ τοιοῦτον ὀνομάζει γένος καὶ διακονικὸν ἐν μέσῳ θεῶν καὶ ἀνθρώπων, εὐχὰς μὲν ἐκεῖ καὶ δεήσεις ἀνθρώπων ἀναπέμποντας, ἐκεῖθεν δὲ μαντεῖα δεῦρο καὶ δόσεις ἀγαθῶν φέροντας.
Ἐμπεδοκλῆς δὲ καὶ δίκας φησὶ διδόναι τοὺς δαίμονας ὧν <ἂν> ἐξαμάρτωσι καὶ πλημμελήσωσιν
XXVII. Τούτων δὲ καὶ τῶν τοιούτων ἀδελφὰ λέγεσθαί φασι περὶ Τυφῶνος, ὡς δεινὰ μὲν ὑπὸ φθόνου καὶ δυσμενείας εἰργάσατο καὶ πάντα πράγματα ταράξας ἐνέπλησε κακῶν γῆν ὁμοῦ τι πᾶσαν καὶ θάλασσαν, εἶτα δίκην ἔδωκεν· ἡ δὲ τιμωρὸς Ὀσίριδος ἀδελφὴ καὶ γυνὴ τὴν Τυφῶνος σβέσασα καὶ καταπαύσασα μανίαν καὶ λύσσαν οὐ περιεῖδε τοὺς ἄθλους καὶ τοὺς ἀγῶνας, οὓς ἀνέτλη, καὶ πλάνας αὑτῆς καὶ πολλὰ μὲν ἔργα σοφίας πολλὰ δ' ἀνδρείας ἀμνηστίαν ὑπολαβοῦσαν καὶ σιωπήν, ἀλλὰ ταῖς ἁγιωτάταις ἀναμίξασα τελεταῖς εἰκόνας καὶ ὑπονοίας καὶ μιμήματα τῶν τότε παθημάτων εὐσεβείας ὁμοῦ δίδαγμα καὶ παραμύθιον ἀνδράσι καὶ γυναιξὶν ὑπὸ συμφορῶν ἐχομένοις ὁμοίων καθωσίωσεν.
Αὐτὴ δὲ καὶ Ὄσιρις ἐκ δαιμόνων ἀγαθῶν δι' ἀρετὴν εἰς θεοὺς μεταβαλόντες, ὡς ὕστερον Ἡρακλῆς καὶ Διόνυσος, ἅμα καὶ θεῶν καὶ δαιμόνων οὐκ ἀπὸ τρόπου μεμιγμένας τιμὰς ἔχουσι, πανταχοῦ μὲν ***, ἐν δὲ τοῖς [ὑπὲρ γῆν καὶ] ὑπὸ γῆν δυνάμενοι μέγιστον. Οὐ γὰρ ἄλλον εἶναι Σάραπιν ἢ τὸν Πλούτωνά φασι καὶ Ἶσιν τὴν Περσέφασσαν, ὡς Ἀρχέμαχος εἴρηκεν ὁ Εὐβοεὺς καὶ ὁ Ποντικὸς Ἡρακλείδης τὸ χρηστήριον ἐν Κανώβῳ Πλούτωνος ἡγούμενος εἶναι.
XXVIII. Πτολεμαῖος δ' ὁ Σωτὴρ ὄναρ εἶδε τὸν ἐν Σινώπῃ τοῦ Πλούτωνος κολοσσόν, οὐκ ἐπιστάμενος οὐδ' ἑωρακὼς πρότερον οἷος <ἦν> τὴν μορφήν, κελεύοντα κομίσαι τὴν ταχίστην αὐτὸν εἰς Ἀλεξάνδρειαν. Ἀγνοοῦντι δ' αὐτῷ καὶ ἀποροῦντι, ποῦ καθίδρυται, καὶ διηγουμένῳ τοῖς φίλοις τὴν ὄψιν εὑρέθη πολυπλανὴς ἄνθρωπος ὄνομα Σωσίβιος, ἐν Σινώπῃ φάμενος ἑωρακέναι τοιοῦτον κολοσσόν, οἷον ὁ βασιλεὺς ἰδεῖν ἔδοξεν. ἔπεμψεν οὖν Σωτέλη καὶ Διονύσιον, οἳ χρόνῳ πολλῷ καὶ μόλις, οὐκ ἄνευ μέντοι θείας προνοίας, ἤγαγον ἐκκλέψαντες. Ἐπεὶ δὲ κομισθεὶς ὤφθη, συμβαλόντες οἱ περὶ Τιμόθεον τὸν ἐξηγητὴν καὶ Μανέθωνα τὸν Σεβεννύτην Πλούτωνος ὂν ἄγαλμα τῷ Κερβέρῳ τεκμαιρόμενοι καὶ τῷ δράκοντι πείθουσι τὸν Πτολεμαῖον, ὡς ἑτέρου θεῶν οὐδενὸς ἀλλὰ Σαράπιδός ἐστιν· οὐ γὰρ ἐκεῖθεν οὕτως ὀνομαζόμενος ἧκεν, ἀλλ' εἰς Ἀλεξάνδρειαν κομισθεὶς τὸ παρ' Αἰγυπτίοις ὄνομα τοῦ Πλούτωνος ἐκτήσατο τὸν Σάραπιν.
Καὶ μέντοι <τὰ> Ἡρακλείτου τοῦ φυσικοῦ λέγοντος ‘Ἅιδης καὶ Διόνυσος ωὑτὸς ὅτεῳ μαίνονται καὶ ληναΐζουσιν’ εἰς ταύτην ὑπάγουσι τὴν δόξαν. Οἱ γὰρ ἀξιοῦντες Ἅιδην λέγεσθαι τὸ σῶμα τῆς ψυχῆς οἷον παραφρονούσης καὶ μεθυούσης ἐν αὐτῷ, γλίσχρως ἀλληγοροῦσι. Βέλτιον δὲ τὸν Ὄσιριν εἰς ταὐτὸ συνάγειν τῷ Διονύσῳ τῷ τ' Ὀσίριδι τὸν Σάραπιν, ὅτε τὴν φύσιν μετέβαλε, ταύτης τυχόντι τῆς προσηγορίας. διὸ πᾶσι κοινὸς ὁ Σάραπίς ἐστιν, ὡς δὴ τὸν Ὄσιριν οἱ τῶν ἱερῶν μεταλαβόντες ἴσασιν.
XXIX. Οὐ γὰρ ἄξιον προσέχειν τοῖς Φρυγίοις γράμμασιν, ἐν οἷς λέγεται † χαροπῶς τοὺς μὲν τοῦ Ἡρακλέους γενέσθαι θυγάτηρ, † ἰσαιακοῦ δὲ τοῦ Ἡρακλέους ὁ Τυφών, οὐδὲ Φυλάρχου μὴ καταφρονεῖν γράφοντος , ὅτι πρῶτος εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἐξ Ἰνδῶν Διόνυσος ἤγαγε δύο βοῦς, ὧν ἦν τῷ μὲν Ἆπις ὄνομα τῷ δ' Ὄσιρις· Σάραπις δ' ὄνομα τοῦ τὸ πᾶν κοσμοῦντός ἐστι παρὰ τὸ σαίρειν, ὃ καλλύνειν τινὲς καὶ κοσμεῖν λέγουσιν. ἄτοπα γὰρ ταῦτα τοῦ Φυλάρχου, πολλῷ δ' ἀτοπώτερα <τὰ> τῶν λεγόντων οὐκ εἶναι θεὸν τὸν Σάραπιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν Ἄπιδος σορὸν οὕτως ὀνομάζεσθαι, καὶ χαλκᾶς τινας ἐν Μέμφει πύλας λήθης καὶ κωκυτοῦ προσαγορευομένας, ὅταν θάπτωσι τὸν Ἆπιν, ἀνοίγεσθαι βαρὺ καὶ σκληρὸν ψοφούσας· διὸ παντὸς ἠχοῦντος ἡμᾶς χαλκώματος ἐπιλαμβάνεσθαι.
Μετριώτερον δ' <οἱ> παρὰ τὸ σεύεσθαι καὶ τὸ σοῦσθαι τὴν τοῦ παντὸς ἅμα κίνησιν εἰρῆσθαι φάσκοντες. οἱ δὲ πλεῖστοι τῶν ἱερέων εἰς ταὐτό φασι τὸν Ὄσιριν συμπεπλέχθαι καὶ τὸν Ἆπιν, ἐξηγούμενοι καὶ διδάσκοντες ἡμᾶς, ὡς ἔμμορφον εἰκόνα χρὴ νομίζειν τῆς Ὀσίριδος ψυχῆς τὸν Ἆπιν. Ἐγὼ δ', εἰ μὲν Αἰγύπτιόν ἐστι τοὔνομα τοῦ Σαράπιδος, εὐφροσύνην αὐτὸ δηλοῦν οἴομαι καὶ χαρμοσύνην, τεκμαιρόμενος ὅτι τὴν ἑορτὴν Αἰγύπτιοι τὰ Χαρμόσυνα ‘Σαίρει’ καλοῦσιν.
Καὶ γὰρ Πλάτων (Cratyl. 403a sqq.) τὸν Ἅιδην ὡς † Αἰδοῦς υἱὸν τοῖς παρ' αὐτῷ γενομένοις καὶ προσηνῆ θεὸν ὠνομάσθαι φησί· καὶ παρ' Αἰγυπτίοις ἄλλα τε πολλὰ τῶν ὀνομάτων λόγον ἔχει καὶ τὸν ὑποχθόνιον τόπον, εἰς ὃν οἴονται τὰς ψυχὰς ἀπέρχεσθαι μετὰ τὴν τελευτήν, Ἀμένθην καλοῦσι σημαίνοντος τοῦ ὀνόματος τὸν λαμβάνοντα καὶ διδόντα. Εἰ δὲ καὶ τοῦτο τῶν ἐκ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἀπελθόντων πάλαι καὶ μετακομισθέντων ὀνομάτων ἕν ἐστιν, ὕστερον ἐπισκεψόμεθα· νῦν δὲ τὰ λοιπὰ τῆς ἐν χερσὶ δόξης προσδιέλθωμεν.
XXX. Ὁ μὲν γὰρ Ὄσιρις καὶ ἡ Ἶσις ἐκ δαιμόνων ἀγαθῶν εἰς θεοὺς μετήλλαξαν· τὴν δὲ τοῦ Τυφῶνος ἠμαυρωμένην καὶ συντετρυμμένην δύναμιν, ἔτι δὲ καὶ ψυχορραγοῦσαν καὶ σφαδᾴζουσαν, ἔστιν αἷς παρηγοροῦσι θυσίαις καὶ πραΰνουσιν, ἔστι δ' ὅτε πάλιν ἐκταπεινοῦσι καὶ καθυβρίζουσιν ἔν τισιν ἑορταῖς, τῶν μὲν ἀνθρώπων τοὺς πυρροὺς [καὶ] προπηλακίζοντες, ὄνον δὲ κατακρημνίζοντες, ὡς Κοπτῖται, διὰ τὸ πυρρὸν γεγονέναι τὸν Τυφῶνα καὶ ὀνώδη τὴν χρόαν. Βουσιρῖται δὲ καὶ Λυκοπολῖται σάλπιγξιν οὐ χρῶνται τὸ παράπαν ὡς ὄνῳ φθεγγομέναις ἐμφερές. Καὶ ὅλως τὸν ὄνον οὐ καθαρὸν ἀλλὰ δαιμονικὸν ἡγοῦνται ζῷον εἶναι διὰ τὴν πρὸς ἐκεῖνον ὁμοιότητα καὶ πόπανα ποιοῦντες ἐν θυσίαις τοῦ τε Παϋνὶ καὶ τοῦ Φαωφὶ μηνὸς ἐπιπλάττουσι παράσημον ὄνον δεδεμένον.
Ἐν δὲ τῇ τοῦ Ἡλίου θυσίᾳ τοῖς σεβομένοις τὸν θεὸν παρεγγυῶσι μὴ φορεῖν ἐπὶ τῷ σώματι χρυσία μηδ' ὄνῳ τροφὴν διδόναι. Φαίνονται δὲ καὶ οἱ Πυθαγορικοὶ τὸν Τυφῶνα δαιμονικὴν ἡγούμενοι δύναμιν· λέγουσι γὰρ ἐν ἀρτίῳ μέτρῳ † ἕκτῳ καὶ πεντηκοστῷ γεγονέναι Τυφῶνα· καὶ πάλιν τὴν μὲν τοῦ τριγώνου <φύσιν> Ἅιδου καὶ Διονύσου καὶ Ἄρεος εἶναι· τὴν δὲ τοῦ τετραγώνου Ῥέας καὶ Ἀφροδίτης καὶ Δήμητρος καὶ Ἑστίας καὶ Ἥρας· τὴν δὲ τοῦ δωδεκαγώνου Διός· τὴν δὲ <τοῦ> ἑκκαιπεντηκονταγωνίου Τυφῶνος, ὡς Εὔδοξος ἱστόρηκεν.
XXXI. Αἰγύπτιοι δὲ πυρρόχρουν γεγονέναι τὸν Τυφῶνα νομίζοντες καὶ τῶν βοῶν τοὺς πυρροὺς καθιερεύουσιν, οὕτως ἀκριβῆ ποιούμενοι τὴν παρατήρησιν, ὥστε, κἂν μίαν ἔχῃ τρίχα μέλαιναν ἢ λευκήν, ἄθυτον ἡγεῖσθαι· θύσιμον γὰρ οὐ φίλον εἶναι θεοῖς, ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον, ὅσα ψυχαῖς ἀνοσίων ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἀδίκων εἰς ἕτερα μεταμορφουμένων σώματα συνείληχε.
Διὸ τῇ μὲν κεφαλῇ τοῦ ἱερείου καταρασάμενοι καὶ ἀποκόψαντες εἰς τὸν ποταμὸν ἐρρίπτουν πάλαι, νῦν δὲ τοῖς ξένοις ἀποδίδονται· τὸν δὲ μέλλοντα θύεσθαι βοῦν οἱ σφραγισταὶ λεγόμενοι τῶν ἱερέων κατεσημαίνοντο, τῆς σφραγῖδος, ὡς ἱστορεῖ Κάστωρ, γλυφὴν μὲν ἐχούσης ἄνθρωπον εἰς γόνυ καθεικότα ταῖς χερσὶν ὀπίσω περιηγμέναις, ἔχοντα κατὰ τῆς σφαγῆς ξίφος ἐγκείμενον. Ἀπολαύειν δὲ καὶ τὸν ὄνον, ὥσπερ εἴρηται, τῆς ὁμοιότητος διὰ τὴν ἀμαθίαν καὶ τὴν ὕβριν οὐχ ἧττον ἢ διὰ τὴν χρόαν οἴονται· διὸ καὶ τῶν Περσικῶν βασιλέων ἐχθραίνοντες μάλιστα τὸν Ὦχον ὡς ἐναγῆ καὶ μιαρόν, ὄνον ἐπωνόμασαν. Κἀκεῖνος εἰπών ‘ὁ μέντοι ὄνος οὗτος ὑμῶν κατευωχήσεται τὸν βοῦν’ ἔθυσε τὸν Ἆπιν, ὡς Δείνων ἱστόρηκεν. Οἱ δὲ λέγοντες ἐκ τῆς μάχης ἐπ' ὄνου τῷ Τυφῶνι τὴν φυγὴν ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας γενέσθαι καὶ σωθέντα γεννῆσαι παῖδας Ἱεροσόλυμον καὶ Ἰουδαῖον, αὐτόθεν εἰσὶ κατάδηλοι τὰ Ἰουδαϊκὰ παρέλκοντες εἰς τὸν μῦθον.
XXXII. Ταῦτα μὲν οὖν τοιαύτας ὑπονοίας δίδωσιν· ἀπ' ἄλλης δ' ἀρχῆς τῶν φιλοσοφώτερόν τι λέγειν δοκούντων τοὺς ἁπλουστάτους σκεψώμεθα πρῶτον. Οὗτοι δ' εἰσὶν οἱ λέγοντες, ὥσπερ Ἕλληνες Κρόνον ἀλληγοροῦσι τὸν χρόνον, Ἥραν δὲ τὸν ἀέρα, γένεσιν δὲ Ἡφαίστου τὴν εἰς πῦρ ἀέρος μεταβολήν, οὕτω παρ' Αἰγυπτίοις Νεῖλον εἶναι τὸν Ὄσιριν Ἴσιδι συνόντα τῇ γῇ, Τυφῶνα δὲ τὴν θάλασσαν, εἰς ἣν ὁ Νεῖλος ἐμπίπτων ἀφανίζεται καὶ διασπᾶται, πλὴν ὅσον ἡ γῆ μέρος ἀναλαμβάνουσα καὶ δεχομένη γίγνεται γόνιμος ὑπ' αὐτοῦ. Καὶ θρῆνός ἐστιν ἱερὸς ἐπ' αὐτοῦ [Κρόνου] γενόμενος, θρηνεῖ δὲ τὸν ἐν τοῖς ἀριστεροῖς γινόμενον μέρεσιν, ἐν δὲ τοῖς δεξιοῖς φθειρόμενον.
Αἰγύπτιοι γὰρ οἴονται τὰ μὲν ἑῷα τοῦ κόσμου πρόσωπον εἶναι, τὰ δὲ πρὸς βορρᾶν δεξιά, τὰ δὲ πρὸς νότον ἀριστερά· φερόμενος οὖν ἐκ τῶν νοτίων ὁ Νεῖλος, ἐν δὲ τοῖς βορείοις ὑπὸ τῆς θαλάσσης καταναλισκόμενος εἰκότως λέγεται τὴν μὲν γένεσιν ἐν τοῖς ἀριστεροῖς ἔχειν, τὴν δὲ φθορὰν ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς. Διὸ τήν τε θάλασσαν οἱ ἱερεῖς ἀφοσιοῦνται καὶ τὸν ἅλα Τυφῶνος ἀφρὸν καλοῦσι, καὶ τῶν ἀπαγορευομένων ἕν ἐστιν αὐτοῖς ἐπὶ τραπέζης ἅλα μὴ προτίθεσθαι· καὶ κυβερνήτας οὐ προσαγορεύουσιν, ὅτι χρῶνται θαλάττῃ καὶ τὸν βίον ἀπὸ τῆς θαλάττης ἔχουσιν· οὐχ ἥκιστα δὲ καὶ τὸν ἰχθὺν ἀπὸ ταύτης προβάλλονται τῆς αἰτίας καὶ τὸ μισεῖν ἰχθύι γράφουσιν.
Ἐν Σάι γοῦν ἐν τῷ προπύλῳ τοῦ ἱεροῦ τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς ἦν γεγλυμμένον βρέφος, γέρων καὶ μετὰ τοῦτον ἱέραξ, ἐφεξῆς δ' ἰχθύς, ἐπὶ πᾶσι δ' ἵππος ποτάμιος. Ἐδήλου δὲ συμβολικῶς ‘ὦ γινόμενοι καὶ ἀπογινόμενοι, <θεὸς ἀναίδειαν μισεῖ’. τὸ μὲν γὰρ βρέφος γενέσεως σύμβολον, φθορᾶς> δ' ὁ γέρων· ἱέρακι δὲ τὸν θεὸν φράζουσιν, ἰχθύι δὲ μῖσος, ὥσπερ εἴρηται, διὰ τὴν θάλατταν, ἵππῳ ποταμίῳ δ' ἀναίδειαν· λέγεται γὰρ ἀποκτείνας τὸν πατέρα τῇ μητρὶ βίᾳ μίγνυσθαι. δόξειε δ' ἂν καὶ τὸ ὑπὸ τῶν Πυθαγορικῶν λεγόμενον, ὡς ἡ θάλαττα Κρόνου δάκρυόν ἐστιν, αἰνίττεσθαι τὸ μὴ καθαρὸν μηδὲ σύμφυλον αὐτῆς.
XXXIII. Ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἔξωθεν εἰρήσθω κοινὴν ἔχοντα τὴν ἱστορίαν· οἱ δὲ σοφώτεροι τῶν ἱερέων οὐ μόνον τὸν Νεῖλον Ὄσιριν καλοῦσιν οὐδὲ Τυφῶνα τὴν θάλασσαν, ἀλλ' Ὄσιριν μὲν ἁπλῆς ἅπασαν τὴν ὑγροποιὸν ἀρχὴν καὶ δύναμιν, αἰτίαν γενέσεως καὶ σπέρματος οὐσίαν νομίζοντες, Τυφῶνα δὲ πᾶν τὸ αὐχμηρὸν καὶ πυρῶδες καὶ ξηραντικὸν ὅλως καὶ πολέμιον τῇ ὑγρότητι· διὸ καὶ πυρρόχρουν γεγονέναι τῷ σώματι καὶ πάρωχρον νομίζοντες οὐ πάνυ προθύμως ἐντυγχάνουσιν οὐδ' ἡδέως ὁμιλοῦσι τοῖς τοιούτοις τὴν ὄψιν ἀνθρώποις.
Τὸν δ' Ὄσιριν αὖ πάλιν μελάγχρουν γεγονέναι μυθολογοῦσιν, ὅτι πᾶν ὕδωρ καὶ γῆν καὶ ἱμάτια καὶ νέφη μελαίνει μιγνύμενον, καὶ τῶν νέων ὑγρότης ἐνοῦσα παρέχει τὰς τρίχας μελαίνας, ἡ δὲ πολίωσις οἷον ὠχρίασις ὑπὸ ξηρότητος ἐπιγίνεται τοῖς παρακμάζουσι. Καὶ τὸ μὲν ἔαρ θαλερὸν καὶ γόνιμον καὶ προσηνές, τὸ δὲ φθινόπωρον ὑγρότητος ἐνδείᾳ καὶ φυτοῖς πολέμιον καὶ ζῴοις νοσῶδες. Ὁ δ' ἐν Ἡλίου πόλει τρεφόμενος βοῦς, ὃν Μνεῦιν καλοῦσιν (Ὀσίριδος δ' ἱερόν, ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ τοῦ Ἄπιδος πατέρα νομίζουσι), μέλας ἐστὶ καὶ δευτέρας ἔχει τιμὰς μετὰ τὸν Ἆπιν. Ἔτι τὴν Αἴγυπτον ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα μελάγγειον οὖσαν, ὥσπερ τὸ μέλαν τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ, Χημίαν καλοῦσι καὶ καρδίᾳ παρεικάζουσι· θερμὴ γάρ ἐστι καὶ ὑγρὰ καὶ τοῖς νοτίοις μέρεσι τῆς οἰκουμένης, ὥσπερ ἡ καρδία τοῖς εὐωνύμοις τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, μάλιστα ἐγκέκλεισται καὶ προσκεχώρηκεν.
XXXIV. Ἥλιον δὲ καὶ Σελήνην οὐχ ἅρμασιν ἀλλὰ πλοίοις ὀχήμασι χρωμένους περιπολεῖν φασιν αἰνιττόμενοι τὴν ἀφ' ὑγροῦ τροφὴν αὐτῶν καὶ γένεσιν. Οἴονται δὲ καὶ Ὅμηρον ὥσπερ Θαλῆν μαθόντα παρ' Αἰγυπτίων ὕδωρ ἀρχὴν ἁπάντων καὶ γένεσιν τίθεσθαι· τὸν γὰρ Ὠκεανὸν Ὄσιριν εἶναι, τὴν δὲ Τηθὺν Ἶσιν ὡς τιθηνουμένην πάντα καὶ συνεκτρέφουσαν. Καὶ γὰρ Ἕλληνες τὴν τοῦ σπέρματος πρόεσιν ἀπουσίαν καλοῦσι καὶ συνουσίαν τὴν μῖξιν, καὶ τὸν υἱὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος καὶ τοῦ ὗσαι, καὶ τὸν Διόνυσον ‘ὕην’ ὡς κύριον τῆς ὑγρᾶς φύσεως οὐχ ἕτερον ὄντα τοῦ Ὀσίριδος· καὶ γὰρ τὸν Ὄσιριν Ἑλλάνικος Ὕσιριν ἔοικεν ἀκηκοέναι ὑπὸ τῶν ἱερέων λεγόμενον· οὕτω γὰρ ὀνομάζων διατελεῖ τὸν θεόν, εἰκότως ἀπὸ τῆς φύσεως καὶ τῆς εὑρέσεως.
XXXV. Ὅτι μὲν οὖν ὁ αὐτός ἐστι Διονύσῳ, τίνα μᾶλλον ἢ σὲ γινώσκειν, ὦ Κλέα, δὴ προσῆκόν ἐστιν, ἀρχηίδα μὲν οὖσαν ἐν Δελφοῖς τῶν Θυιάδων, τοῖς δ' Ὀσιριακοῖς καθωσιωμένην ἱεροῖς ἀπὸ πατρὸς καὶ μητρός; εἰ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων ἕνεκα δεῖ μαρτύρια παραθέσθαι, τὰ μὲν ἀπόρρητα κατὰ χώραν ἐῶμεν, ἃ δ' ἐμφανῶς δρῶσι θάπτοντες τὸν Ἆπιν οἱ ἱερεῖς, ὅταν παρακομίζωσιν ἐπὶ σχεδίας τὸ σῶμα, βακχείας οὐδὲν ἀποδεῖ· καὶ γὰρ νεβρίδας περικαθάπτονται καὶ θύρσους φοροῦσι καὶ βοαῖς χρῶνται καὶ κινήσεσιν ὥσπερ οἱ κάτοχοι τοῖς περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον ὀργιασμοῖς. Διὸ καὶ ταυρόμορφα Διονύσου ποιοῦσιν ἀγάλματα πολλοὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων· αἱ δ' Ἠλείων γυναῖκες καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν εὐχόμεναι ‘ποδὶ βοείῳ τὸν θεὸν ἐλθεῖν’ πρὸς αὐτάς. Ἀργείοις δὲ βουγενὴς Διόνυσος ἐπίκλην ἐστίν· ἀνακαλοῦνται δ' αὐτὸν ὑπὸ σαλπίγγων ἐξ ὕδατος ἐμβάλλοντες εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον ἄρνα τῷ Πυλαόχῳ· τὰς δὲ σάλπιγγας ἐν θύρσοις ἀποκρύπτουσιν, ὡς Σωκράτης ἐν τοῖς περὶ ὁσίων εἴρηκεν. Ὁμολογεῖ δὲ καὶ τὰ Τιτανικὰ καὶ Νυκτέλια τοῖς λεγομένοις Ὀσίριδος διασπασμοῖς καὶ ταῖς ἀναβιώσεσι καὶ παλιγγενεσίαις· ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὰ περὶ τὰς ταφάς.
Αἰγύπτιοί τε γὰρ Ὀσίριδος πολλαχοῦ θήκας, ὥσπερ εἴρηται, δεικνύουσι, καὶ Δελφοὶ τὰ τοῦ Διονύσου λείψανα παρ' αὐτοῖς παρὰ τὸ χρηστήριον ἀποκεῖσθαι νομίζουσι, καὶ θύουσιν οἱ ὅσιοι θυσίαν ἀπόρρητον ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος, ὅταν αἱ Θυιάδες ἐγείρωσι τὸν Λικνίτην. Ὅτι δ' οὐ μόνον τοῦ οἴνου Διόνυσον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάσης ὑγρᾶς φύσεως Ἕλληνες ἡγοῦνται κύριον καὶ ἀρχηγόν, ἀρκεῖ Πίνδαρος μάρτυς εἶναι λέγων ‘δενδρέων δὲ νομὸν Διόνυσος πολυγαθὴς αὐξάνοι, ἁγνὸν φέγγος ὀπώρας·’ διὸ καὶ τοῖς τὸν Ὄσιριν σεβομένοις ἀπαγορεύεται δένδρον ἥμερον ἀπολλύναι καὶ πηγὴν ὕδατος ἐμφράττειν.
XXXVI. Οὐ μόνον δὲ τὸν Νεῖλον, ἀλλὰ πᾶν ὑγρὸν ἁπλῶς Ὀσίριδος ἀπορροὴν καλοῦσι, καὶ τῶν ἱερῶν ἀεὶ προπομπεύει τὸ ὑδρεῖον ἐπὶ τιμῇ τοῦ θεοῦ. Καὶ θρύῳ βασιλέα καὶ τὸ νότιον κλίμα τοῦ κόσμου γράφουσι, καὶ μεθερμηνεύεται τὸ θρύον ποτισμὸς καὶ κύησις πάντων καὶ δοκεῖ γεννητικῷ μορίῳ τὴν φύσιν ἐοικέναι. Τὴν δὲ τῶν Παμυλίων ἑορτὴν ἄγοντες, ὥσπερ εἴρηται, φαλλικὴν οὖσαν ἄγαλμα προτίθενται καὶ περιφέρουσιν, οὗ τὸ αἰδοῖον τριπλάσιόν ἐστιν· ἀρχὴ γὰρ ὁ θεός, ἀρχὴ δὲ πᾶσα τῷ γονίμῳ πολλαπλασιάζει τὸ ἐξ αὑτῆς. Τὸ δὲ πολλάκις εἰώθαμεν καὶ τρὶς λέγειν, ὡς τό ‘τρισμάκαρες’ καὶ ‘δεσμοὶ μὲν τρὶς τόσσοι ἀπείρονες’, εἰ μὴ νὴ Δία κυρίως ἐμφαίνεται τὸ τριπλάσιον ὑπὸ τῶν παλαιῶν· ἡ γὰρ ὑγρὰ φύσις ἀρχὴ καὶ γένεσις οὖσα πάντων ἐξ αὑτῆς τὰ πρῶτα τρία σώματα, γῆν ἀέρα καὶ πῦρ, ἐποίησε.
Καὶ γὰρ ὁ προστιθέμενος τῷ μύθῳ λόγος, ὡς τοῦ Ὀσίριδος ὁ Τυφὼν τὸ αἰδοῖον ἔρριψεν εἰς τὸν ποταμόν, ἡ δ' Ἶσις οὐχ εὗρεν, ἀλλ' ἐμφερὲς ἄγαλμα θεμένη καὶ κατασκευάσασα τιμᾶν καὶ φαλληφορεῖν ἔταξεν, ἐνταῦθα δὴ περιχωρεῖ διδάσκων, ὅτι τὸ γόνιμον καὶ τὸ σπερματικὸν τοῦ θεοῦ πρώτην ἔσχεν ὕλην τὴν ὑγρότητα καὶ δι' ὑγρότητος ἐνεκράθη τοῖς πεφυκόσι μετέχειν γενέσεως. Ἄλλος δὲ λόγος ἐστὶν Αἰγυπτίων, ὡς Ἄποπις Ἡλίου ὢν ἀδελφὸς ἐπολέμει τῷ Διί, τὸν δ' Ὄσιριν ὁ Ζεὺς συμμαχήσαντα καὶ συγκαταστρεψάμενον αὐτῷ τὸν πολέμιον παῖδα θέμενος Διόνυσον προσηγόρευσε. Καὶ τούτου δὲ τοῦ λόγου τὸ μυθῶδες ἔστιν ἀποδεῖξαι τῆς περὶ φύσιν ἀληθείας ἁπτόμενον. Δία μὲν γὰρ Αἰγύπτιοι τὸ πνεῦμα καλοῦσιν, ᾧ πολέμιον τὸ αὐχμηρὸν καὶ πυρῶδες· τοῦτο δ' ἥλιος μὲν οὐκ ἔστι, πρὸς δ' ἥλιον ἔχει τινὰ συγγένειαν· ἡ δ' ὑγρότης σβεννύουσα τὴν ὑπερβολὴν τῆς ξηρότητος αὔξει καὶ ῥώννυσι τὰς ἀναθυμιάσεις, ὑφ' ὧν τὸ πνεῦμα τρέφεται καὶ τέθηλεν.
XXXVII. Ἔτι τε τὸν κιττὸν [ὃν] Ἕλληνές τε καθιεροῦσι Διονύσῳ καὶ παρ' Αἰγυπτίοις λέγεται ‘χενόσιρις’ ὀνομάζεσθαι σημαίνοντος τοῦ ὀνόματος, ὥς φασι, φυτὸν Ὀσίριδος. Ἀρίστων τοίνυν ὁ γεγραφὼς Ἀθηναίων ἀποικίας ἐπιστολῇ τινι Ἀλεξάρχου περιέπεσεν, ἐν ᾗ Διὸς ἱστορεῖται [δὲ] καὶ Ἴσιδος υἱὸς ὢν ὁ Διόνυσος ὑπ' Αἰγυπτίων οὐκ Ὄσιρις ἀλλ' Ἀρσαφὴς [ἐν τῷ ἄλφαγράμματι] λέγεσθαι δηλοῦντος τὸ ἀνδρεῖον τοῦ ὀνόματος. Ἐμφαίνει δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ὁ Ἑρμαῖος ἐν τῇ πρώτῃ περὶ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων <ἑορτῶν>· ὄβριμον γάρ φησι μεθερμηνευόμενον εἶναι τὸν Ὄσιριν. Ἐῶ δὲ Μνασέαν τῷ Ἐπάφῳ προστιθέντα τὸν Διόνυσον καὶ τὸν Ὄσιριν καὶ τὸν Σάραπιν, ἐῶ καὶ Ἀντικλείδην λέγοντα τὴν Ἶσιν Προμηθέως οὖσαν θυγατέρα Διονύσῳ συνοικεῖν· αἱ γὰρ εἰρημέναι περὶ τὰς ἑορτὰς καὶ τὰς θυσίας οἰκειότητες ἐναργεστέραν τῶν μαρτύρων τὴν πίστιν ἔχουσι.
XXXVIII. Τῶν τ' ἄστρων τὸν σείριον Ὀσίριδος νομίζουσιν ὑδραγωγὸν ὄντα καὶ τὸν λέοντα τιμῶσι καὶ χάσμασι λεοντείοις τὰ τῶν ἱερῶν θυρώματα κοσμοῦσιν, ὅτι πλημμυρεῖ Νεῖλος
Νέφθυν δὲ καλοῦσι τῆς γῆς τὰ ἔσχατα καὶ παρόρια καὶ ψαύοντα τῆς θαλάττης· διὸ καὶ Τελευτὴν ἐπονομάζουσι τὴν Νέφθυν καὶ Τυφῶνι δὲ συνοικεῖν λέγουσιν. Ὅταν δ' ὑπερβαλὼν καὶ πλεονάσας ὁ Νεῖλος ἐπέκεινα πλησιάσῃ τοῖς ἐσχατεύουσι, τοῦτο μῖξιν Ὀσίριδος πρὸς Νέφθυν καλοῦσιν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀναβλαστανόντων φυτῶν ἐλεγχομένην· ὧν καὶ τὸ μελίλωτόν ἐστιν, οὗ φησι μῦθος ἀπορρυέντος καὶ ὑπολειφθέντος αἴσθησιν γενέσθαι Τυφῶνι τῆς περὶ τὸν γάμον ἀδικίας. Ὅθεν ἡ μὲν Ἶσις ἔτεκε γνησίως τὸν Ὧρον, ἡ δὲ Νέφθυς σκότιον τὸν Ἄνουβιν. Ἐν μέντοι ταῖς διαδοχαῖς τῶν βασιλέων ἀναγράφουσι τὴν Νέφθυν Τυφῶνι γημαμένην πρώτην γενέσθαι στεῖραν· εἰ δὲ τοῦτο μὴ περὶ γυναικὸς ἀλλὰ περὶ τῆς θεοῦ λέγουσιν, αἰνίττονται τὸ παντελῶς τῆς γῆς ἄγονον καὶ ἄκαρπον ὑπὸ στερρότητος.
XXXIX. Ἡ δὲ Τυφῶνος ἐπιβουλὴ καὶ τυραννὶς αὐχμοῦ δύναμις ἦν ἐπικρατήσαντος καὶ διαφορήσαντος τήν τε γεννῶσαν ὑγρότητα τὸν Νεῖλον καὶ αὔξουσαν, ἡ δὲ συνεργὸς αὐτοῦ βασιλὶς Αἰθιόπων αἰνίττεται πνοὰς νοτίους ἐξ Αἰθιοπίας· ὅταν γὰρ αὗται τῶν ἐτησίων ἐπικρατήσωσι τὰ νέφη πρὸς τὴν Αἰθιοπίαν ἐλαυνόντων καὶ κωλύσωσι τοὺς τὸν Νεῖλον αὔξοντας ὄμβρους καταρραγῆναι, κατέχων ὁ Τυφὼν ἐπιφλέγει, καὶ τότε κρατήσας παντάπασι τὸν Νεῖλον εἰς ἑαυτὸν ὑπ' ἀσθενείας συσταλέντα καὶ ῥυέντα κοῖλον καὶ ταπεινὸν ἐξέωσεν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν.
Ἡ γὰρ λεγομένη κάθειρξις εἰς τὴν σορὸν Ὀσίριδος οὐδὲν ἔοικεν ἀλλ' ἢ κρύψιν ὕδατος καὶ ἀφανισμὸν αἰνίττεσθαι· διὸ μηνὸς Ἀθὺρ ἀφανισθῆναι τὸν Ὄσιριν λέγουσιν, ὅτε τῶν ἐτησίων ἀπολειπόντων παντάπασιν ὁ μὲν Νεῖλος ὑπονοστεῖ, γυμνοῦται δ' ἡ χώρα, μηκυνομένης δὲ τῆς νυκτὸς αὔξεται τὸ σκότος, ἡ δὲ τοῦ φωτὸς μαραίνεται καὶ κρατεῖται δύναμις, οἱ <δ'> ἱερεῖς ἄλλα τε δρῶσι σκυθρωπὰ καὶ βοῦν διάχρυσον ἱματίῳ μέλανι βυσσίνῳ περιβάλλοντες ἐπὶ πένθει τῆς θεοῦ δεικνύουσι (βοῦν γὰρ Ἴσιδος εἰκόνα καὶ γῆς νομίζουσιν) ἐπὶ τέσσαρας ἡμέρας ἀπὸ τῆς ἑβδόμης ἐπὶ δέκα ἑξῆς· καὶ γὰρ τὰ πενθούμενα τέσσαρα, πρῶτον μὲν ὁ Νεῖλος ἀπολείπων καὶ ὑπονοστῶν, δεύτερον δὲ τὰ βόρεια πνεύματα κατασβεννύμενα κομιδῇ τῶν νοτίων ἐπικρατούντων, τρίτον δὲ τὸ τὴν ἡμέραν ἐλάττονα γίνεσθαι τῆς νυκτός, ἐπὶ πᾶσι δ' ἡ τῆς γῆς ἀπογύμνωσις ἅμα τῇ τῶν φυτῶν ψιλότητι τηνικαῦτα φυλλορροούντων.
Τῇ δ' ἐνάτῃ ἐπὶ δέκα νυκτὸς ἐπὶ θάλασσαν κατίασι, καὶ τὴν ἱερὰν κίστην οἱ στολισταὶ καὶ οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐκφέρουσι χρυσοῦν ἐντὸς ἔχουσαν κιβώτιον, εἰς ὃ ποτίμου λαβόντες ὕδατος ἐγχέουσι, καὶ γίνεται κραυγὴ τῶν παρόντων ὡς εὑρημένου τοῦ Ὀσίριδος· εἶτα γῆν κάρπιμον φυρῶσι τῷ ὕδατι καὶ συμμίξαντες ἀρώματα καὶ θυμιάματα τῶν πολυτελῶν ἀναπλάττουσι μηνοειδὲς ἀγαλμάτιον καὶ τοῦτο στολίζουσι καὶ κοσμοῦσιν ἐμφαίνοντες ὅτι γῆς οὐσίαν καὶ ὕδατος τοὺς θεοὺς τούτους νομίζουσι.
I. All good things, O Clea, it behoves persons that have sense to solicit from the gods. But more especially now that we are in quest of the knowledge of themselves (so far as such knowledge is attainable by man), do we pray to obtain the same from them with their own consent: inasmuch as there is nothing more important for a man to receive, or more noble for a god to grant, than Truth. For all other things which people require, the Deity who gives them doth not possess, nor use for his own purposes. For the Godhead is not blessed by reason of his silver and gold, nor yet almighty through his thunders and lightnings, but on account of knowledge and intelligence, and this is the finest thing of all that Homer hath said, when he pronounced concerning the gods:—
Both have one source, and both one country bore,
He has represented the sovereignty of Jupiter as more majestic on account of his knowledge and wisdom, being at the same time the more ancient of the two. And I am of opinion that the happiness of the eternal life which is the attribute of God consists in his not being ignorant of future events, in virtue of his knowledge, for if the knowing and understanding of events were taken away, then immortality becomes not life but duration.
II. On this account a desire for religious knowledge is an aiming at Truth, particularly that relating to the gods—a pursuit containing both in the acquisition and in the search a reception, as it were, of things sacred—an occupation more pious than any observation of abstinence, or religious service: but particularly well-pleasing to this goddess who is the special object of thy devotion; for she is both wise, and a lover of wisdom; as her name appears to denote that, more than any other, knowing and knowledge belong to her. For "Isis" is a Greek word, and so is "Typhon," her enemy, for he is "puffed up" by want of knowledge and falsehood, and tears to pieces, and puts out of sight, the sacred word which the goddess again gathers up and puts together, and gives into the charge of those initiated into the religion; whilst by means of a perpetually sober life, by abstinence from many kinds of food and from venery, she checks intemperance and love of pleasure, accustoming people to endure her service with bowels not enervated by luxury, but hardy and vigorous; the object of all which is the knowledge of the First, the Supreme, and the Intelligible; whom the goddess exhorts von to seek after, for he is both by her side, and united with her. The very name of her Temple clearly promises both the communication and the understanding of That which is—for it is called the "Ision," inasmuch as That which is shall be known if we enter with intelligence and piously into the sacred rites of the goddess.
III. Besides this, many have made her out to be daughter of Hermes; many others, of Prometheus: of whom the latter they hold to be the inventor of wisdom and fore-knowledge; Hermes, of grammar and of music.
For which reason, of the Muses at Hermopolis they call the foremost one "Isis," and "Justice-Wisdom," as hath been stated; and they show the divine mysteries to such as be truly and rightfully styled "carriers of sacred things," and "wearers of sacred robes": these are they that carry in the soul, as it were in a copper, the sacred story respecting the gods that cleanses the recipient from all superstition, and magical follies: and who wrap themselves up, sometimes in things black and dusky, at other times bright and conspicuous—darkly showing forth the same notions as regards opinion of the gods as are expressed with respect to the sacred vestment. For which reason, the circumstance that the votaries of Isis, upon their death, are clothed with these robes, is a symbol that they go into the next world carrying with them this Word, and nothing else. For it is not, Clea, the wearing of beards and the dressing in long gowns that makes people philosophers; neither does the linen surplice and shaven crown make votaries of Isis, but the real Isiacist is he that is competent to investigate by the aid of the Word, the symbolism, and the ceremonies connected with these deities (after he has been lawfully empowered so to do); and who meditates upon the Truth which is involved in them.
IV. For it is a fact that most people do not understand that most general, and insignificant circumstance, for what reason the priests cut off their hair, and wear linen robes: some do not trouble themselves at all to know the cause for these two rules, whilst others say that they abstain from the use of wool, as they do from the flesh, out of veneration for the sheep; that they shave the head in token of their mourning (for Osiris), and that they wear linen on account of the colour the flax in blossom displays, which resembles the smiling atmosphere encompassing the earth. But the real cause is the same for all, because (as Plato observes), it is not lawful for one not pure to handle what is pure. Now no superfluity of nutrition or excrement is either chaste or pure. Now it is out of such superfluity that wool and hair, and down, and the nails, spring and grow. For it were absurd that people should divest themselves of their own hair, shaving the body very smoothly, during the fasts, and yet should envelope themselves in the hair of beasts, and we ought to suppose that when Hesiod says:—
Nor from the five-branched thing, on holy day,
He teaches that people ought to make themselves clear from such things beforehand, and so keep the festival, not in the middle of the religious services to occupy themselves with the cleaning and the removal of excrementitious things. Again, the flax springs out of what is immortal, the earth, and produces an edible fruit, and furnishes a smooth and cleanly clothing, that does not weigh one down with the covering, and well-suited also to any season, and is least of all others apt to breed lice, as they say, concerning all which points there is another legend.
V. The priests so greatly dislike the nature of excrementitious things, that they not only reject most kinds of pulse, and the flesh of sheep and swine, as producing much superfluity of nutriment, but during the fasts they even banish all salt from their meals, assigning many other reasons for so doing, and particularly that salt makes people more fond of drinking and of eating, by sharpening the appetite: for to consider, as Aristagoras pretends, that salt is not pure because multitudes of little insects are caught and die in it as it is congealing, is mere folly. They are said also to give the Apis drink out of a well of his own, but to keep him away from the Nile; not that they hold the Nile water to be polluted by reason of the crocodiles, as some think, for nothing is so venerated by Egyptians as the Nile, but because drinking the water of the Nile is supposed above all other to fatten, and produce corpulence; for they do not wish to have the Apis in such condition, nor themselves either, but to render their bodies active and lightly moved by their souls, and not to weigh down and crush the divine part by the mortal ones growing strong and preponderating.
VI. As for wine, they that serve the god at Heliopolis, do not usually carry it into the temple, for the reason that it is not decent to drink when the Lord and King of day is looking on. The others use it indeed, but sparingly, and keep many fasts where wine is forbidden; during which they spend their time in arguing, learning, and seeking things pertaining to religion: but the kings used to drink a measured quantity, prescribed by the sacred books (as Hecataeus relates in his History), although they were also priests. They began to drink from the reign of Psammetichus, for before him they drank no wine, neither did they make libation of it as a thing acceptable to the gods, but as the blood of the gods’ greatest enemies, out of whom they believe it sprung when they were fallen, and mingled with the earth, for which reason the being drunk makes men out of their senses and furious, inasmuch as they are then possessed by the authors of the blood. This story Eudoxus tells us in the second book of his "Travels," is so related by the priests.
VII. As to sea fish, all do not abstain from every sort, but from some kinds only, as for instance, the natives of Oxyrynchites abstain from all that are caught with a hook; for worshipping as they do the fish called oxyrynchus, they are afraid that the hook may not be unpolluted in consequence of an oxyrynchus having been caught by the same.
The Syennites abstain from eating the phagrus; for that fish is thought to make its appearance together with the swelling of the Nile, and to announce its rise to rejoicing people, showing itself as a self-sent herald. But the priests abstain from all fish alike, and when on the first day of the ninth month the Egyptians feast each one on broiled fish before his house door, the priests do not taste thereof, but burn fish to ashes in front of their own doors, assigning two reasons for this usage; the one of which being religious and important, and connected with the pious inquiry concerning Osiris and Typhon, I will take up again further on; the other, an obvious and ready explanation, making out fish to be an unnecessary and over-luxurious article of diet, agrees with Homer who represents neither the luxurious Phaeaceans, nor the Ithacans, although islanders; as making use of fish, nor yet the shipmates of Ulysses on so long a voyage and out at sea, before they were reduced to the extreme of want. And in fine, they (the priests) hold the sea to proceed from fire, and as distinct from all else; neither a part nor an element of nature but something of a different sort, both destructive and the occasion of disease.
VIII. For nothing that is irrational or fabulous, or springing out of superstition (as some suppose), has been established in the religious rites but what has partly moral and salutary reasons, partly others not devoid of ingenuity in their bearings upon history and physics. For example, take the garlic (for the fable that Dictys, foster father of Isis, fell into the river and was lost as he was laying hold of some garlic is improbable to the last degree), but the priests entertain religious scruples about it and avoid and dislike the garlic, because this is the only plant that naturally grows and flourishes while the moon is on the wane; and it is suitable neither for persons keeping fast, nor holding festival, because it makes the one thirsty, the other to shed tears when they eat thereof. In the same way they hold the swine to be an unholy animal because it seems to copulate most of all when the moon is on the wane, and of those who drink its milk, the bodies break out into leprosies and itchey eruptions; for the legend which they repeat over it, when they sacrifice (once for all) and eat a swine at the new moon, namely, that Typhon was pursuing a swine by the light of the full moon, and so found the wooden coffer, in which lay the body of Osiris and scattered the pieces, is not accepted by all; for they hold this, like many other things, to belong to false traditions. But they say that those of old were so hostile to luxury, extravagance, and delicate living, that they relate there was a column set up in the Temple of Thebes containing a curse engraved thereon against King Mnevis, the first that drew away the Egyptians from their old way of living without voyaging, without money, and of primitive simplicity. It is further said that Technatis, father of Banchoreus, once when marching towards Arabia, when his table-service was behindhand, dined upon what food was procurable and afterwards slept soundly upon a mattress, and thus became enamoured of simple fare; and in consequence of this, uttered a curse upon Mnevis, and with the approval of the priests, set up a pillar publishing the anathema.
IX. For the kings used to be elected out of either the sacerdotal or the military class, the latter enjoying dignity and honour on account of valour, the former on account of wisdom; but he that was elected out of the military class immediately became one of the priests, and was initiated into their wisdom, which was for the most part shrouded in fables and stories giving obscure indications and glimpses of the truth, as indeed they themselves half acknowledge by kindly setting up the Sphinxes in front of their temples, as though their religious teaching contained wisdom hidden in enigmas. And the shrine of Minerva at Sais (whom they consider the same with Isis) bears this inscription, "I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; and my veil no mortal has hitherto raised." Furthermore, as most people believe that the proper name of Jupiter amongst the Egyptians is "Ammies" (which we corruptly call "Ammon"). Manetho the Sebennyte is of opinion that the "hidden" and "hiding" is expressed by this word. Hecataeus of Abdera says that the Egyptians use this word to one another, when they are calling anyone to them; for the word is one of calling to, for which reason the Supreme God (whom they consider the same with the All) they invoke as being hidden and invisible, and exhort him to make himself visible and apparent, and therefore call him "Amun": so great therefore was the piety of the Egyptians in their teaching respecting the gods.
X. The wisest of the Greeks bear testimony to this, such as Solon, Thales, Plato, Eudoxus, Pythagoras (some say Lycurgus also), by their travelling into Egypt and conversing with the priests. Eudoxus, for example, they say, received lessons from Chonupheus of Memphis; Solon, from Sonchis of Sais; Pythagoras from Oenuphis of Heliopolis; and he being probably the most admired of these visitors, and himself admiring the people, copied their symbolical and mysterious style, and wrapped up his doctrines in enigmas; for the most part of the Pythagorean precepts do not fall short of the so-called hieroglyphic writings in obscurity; such, for instance, as, "Not to eat off a chair;" "Not to sit down upon a corn-measure;" "Not to plant a palm-tree;" "Not to stir the fire with a sword in the house." And I myself think that the fact that the men (of his sect) call the unit "Apollo," the two "Diana," the seven, "Minerva;" and "Neptune" the first Cube; is analogous to the things set up upon the temples, and in truth to those done and painted there. For the king and lord, Osiris, they represent by an eye and a sceptre, and some even interpret the name as "Many-eyed," the "os" signifying many, and the "iri," eye, in the Egyptian language: and Heaven, as being exempt from old age by reason of its eternity, by a heart with an altar of incense placed below it. And in Thebes there were dedicated statues of Judges wanting the hands: whilst that of the chief-judge had also the eyes closed, showing that Justice is above bribes, and not to be moved by prayer. The Military class had the beetle for device on signet, for the beetle is never female, but all are males, and they breed by depositing their seed [in balls of dung]; since they make these balls, not so much to provide material for food, as a place for propagation of their kind.
XI. When therefore you shall hear the fables the Egyptians tell about the gods—their wanderings, cutting to pieces, and many such like mishaps you ought to bear in mind what has been above stated, and not to suppose that any of them happened or was done in the manner related. For they do not really call the dog "Hermes," but the animal's watchfulness, sleeplessness, and sagacity (for by knowledge and absence of knowledge it distinguishes between friend and foe, as Plato says) make it appropriate to the most sagacious of the gods: neither do they suppose that the sun rises as a new born child out of a lotus, but it is in this way they picture the rising of the sun, enigmatically expressing that the solar fire is derived from moisture. For that most savage and terrible King of the Persians, Ochus—who put many to death, and finally butchered Apis and dined upon him along with his friends—they styled "The Sword," and still call him by that name in the list of kings; that is not actually describing his person, but likening the hardness and wickedness of his disposition to an instrument of slaughter. In the same way must you hear the stories about the gods, and receive them from such as interpret mythology, in a reverent and philosophic spirit, both performing constantly and observing the established rites of the worship, and believing that no sacrifice nor act is more well pleasing to the gods, than is the holding the true faith with respect to them, so will you escape an evil no less great than Atheism, namely, Superstition.
XII. The following myth is related in the briefest terms possible, divested of everything unnecessary and superfluous. They tell that the sun having discovered Rhea secretly copulating with Saturn, laid a curse upon her, that she should not bring forth a child in either month or year: that Hermes being in love with the goddess copulated with her; and afterwards playing at counters with the Moon and winning from her the seventieth part of each one of her lights, out of the whole composed five days, the which he added to the three hundred and sixty, which days now the Egyptians call "additional," and keep as the birthdays of the gods; that on the first of these was born Osiris, and that, a voice issued forth with him in the birth, that "the Lord of all is entering into light." But some relate that a certain Pamyle, when drawing water out of the Temple of Jupiter at Thebes, heard a voice ordering her to proclaim with a loud cry, "A great king, beneficent Osiris, is born," and for this cause she nursed Osiris, when Saturn put him into her hands; and also the festival "Pamylia," is celebrated in his honour, resembling in character the phallic processions. On the second was born Aroeris, whom some call Apollo, some the elder Horus. On the third Typhon, neither in due time, nor in the right place, but, breaking through with a blow, he leaped out through his mother's side. On the fourth was Isis born, in very wet places. On the fifth was Nephthys, the same as the "End," and "Venus," whom some call Victory. They say that Osiris was begotten by the Sun, as also Aroeris, by Hermes Isis, by Saturn Typhon and Nephthys; that Osiris and Isis fell in love with each other and copulated under the cloak of darkness in the womb; some say that in this manner was Aroeris begotten, and therefore is called by Egyptians, the elder Horus, by the Greeks, Apollo.
XIII. That when Osiris reigned over the Egyptians he made them reform their destitute and bestial mode of living, showing them the art of cultivation, and giving them laws, and teaching them how to worship the gods. Afterwards he travelled over the whole earth, civilizing it; far from requiring arms, he tamed mankind through persuasion and reasoning joined with song of all kinds and music which he brought over; wherefore he is held by the Greeks to be the same with Bacchus. That Typhon, during his absence, did not rebel, because Isis was on her guard, and able to keep watch upon him vigorously; but after Osiris returned Typhon laid a plot against him, having taken seventy and two men into the conspiracy, and having for helper a queen coming out of Ethiopia, whom they call Asò. That she secretly measured the body of Osiris, and made to the size a handsome and highly ornamented coffer which he carried into the banqueting room. And as they were all delighted with its appearance and admired it; Typhon promised in sport that whoever should lie down within it, and should exactly fit, he would make him a present of the chest; and after the others had tried, one by one, and nobody fitted it; then Osiris got in, and laid himself down, thereupon the conspirators running up shut down the lid, and fastened it with spike-nails from the outside, and poured melted lead over them, and so carried it out to the River, and let it go down down the Tanaite branch into the sea: which branch on that account is hateful, and unlucky for Egyptians to name. These things are said to have been done on the 17th day of the month Athor, when the sun is passing through the Scorpion, Osiris then being in the eight and twentieth year of his reign. Some have it that he had lived, not reigned, such a time.
XIV. The first to discover the mischief were the Pans and Satyrs inhabiting the country round Chemmis and to give intelligence about what had happened, whence the sudden terrors and fears of the multitude are to the present day called "panics." Isis on the news, sheared off one of her tresses, and put on a mourning robe, whence the city, even to the present day has the name of "Copto" (I beat the breast); but others think the name signifies bereavement, from "coptein" "to deprive." As she wandered about everywhere, not knowing what to do, she met no one without speaking to him, nay, even when she fell in with little children, she inquired of them about the coffer; these last chanced to have seen it, and told her the branch of the River through which Typhon's accomplices had let the chest drift into the sea. From this circumstance the Egyptians believe that little children possess the faculty of prophesy, and that especially the future is fore-shown by their cries when they are playing in the temple courts, and calling out whatever it may be. And having discovered that he (Typhon) had fallen in love and copulated with his sister, in ignorance, as Osiris had done with herself, and seeing the proof thereof in the garland of melilote flower which he had left behind him with Nephthys, she sought for the infant (for she had brought it forth at once, through her fear of Typhon), she found it at last with trouble and difficulty, through dogs guiding her to the place. This infant Isis nursed, and he grew up her guard and minister, being denominated Anubis; and said to watch for the gods just as dogs do for men.
XV. Proceeding thence, she learnt by inquiry that the chest had been washed up by the sea at a place called Byblus, and that the surf had gently laid it under an Erica tree. This Erica, a most lovely plant, growing up very large in a very short time had enfolded, embraced, and concealed the coffer within itself. The king of the place being astonished at the size of the plant, and having cut away the clump that concealed the coffer from sight, set the latter up as a pillar to support his roof. They tell how Isis having learnt all this by the divine breath of fame, came to Byblus, and sitting down by the side of a spring all dejected and weeping spoke not a word to any other persons, but saluted and made friends of the maid servants of the queen, by dressing their hair for them, and infusing into their bodies a wonderful perfume out of herself; when the queen saw her maids again, she fell a longing to see the stranger, whose hair and whose body breathed of ambrosial perfume; and so she was sent for, becoming intimate with the queen, was made nurse of her infant. The king's name they say was Malacander, herself some call Astarte, others Sooses, others Neinanoë, who is the same with the Greek Athenais.
XVI. Isis is said to have suckled the child by putting, instead of her nipple, her finger into his mouth, and by night she singed away the mortal parts of his body. She turned herself into a swallow and flew around the pillar until the queen watched her, and cried out when she saw her child all on fire, and so took away the boy's immortality. Then the goddess, manifesting herself, asked .or the pillar of the roof, and having removed it with the greatest ease, she cut away the Erica that surrounded it. This plant she wrapped up in a linen cloth, pouring perfume over it, and gave it in charge to the king; and to this day the people of Byblus venerate the wood, which is preserved in the temple of Isis. The coffin she clasped in her arms, and wailed so loud that the younger of the king's sons died of fright at it, the elder she took with her and putting the coffer on board a ship, put to sea; but when the river Phaedrus sent forth too rough a gale, she grew wrath, and dried up the stream.
XVII. As soon as ever she obtained privacy, and was left by herself, having opened the coffer and laid her face upon the face of the corpse, she wailed and wept; but when the little boy observed this, and came up quietly from behind to spy, she perceived him, and turning round gave him a dreadful look in her rage, the child could not stand the fright, and died. Some say it was not so, but in the manner just stated he tumbled (in his fright) into the sea, but that he receives honours for the sake of the goddess, for the Maneros, whom the Egyptians sing about at their feasts, is this child. Others say that the boy is called Palaestinos, or Pelusios, and that the city was named after him, having been founded by the goddess. The Maneros that is sung about, they relate, first invented music. But some pretend "Maneros" is not the name of a person, but an expression suited to people drinking and keeping holiday and signifying "May things of the sort come with good luck," for that the Egyptians exclaim this, each time, upon the Maneros being uttered; just as, indeed, the exhibition of a dead man in his coffin carried round at feasts is not a reminder of the mourning for Osiris, as some interpret it, but merely intended to warn one to make use of the present and enjoy it, as very soon they themselves shall be as he, which is why they bring it in to the feast.
XVIII. But when Isis had gone to see her son Horus (who was at nurse in the city Butò), and had put the coffer away, Typhon being out a hunting by moonlight came upon it, and recognising the corpse, tore it into fourteen pieces, and scattered them abroad. Isis having heard of this, sought after the fragments, passing over the swamps in a papyrus boat; for which cause such as sail in papyrus boats are never injured by the crocodiles, because they either fear or respect the goddess, from this circumstance there are many places called "Tombs of Osiris" all over Egypt, because she, whenever she came upon a fragment of the body, there celebrated a funeral. Some deny this, but say that she made images and gave them to the several cities, giving them as the actual body, in order that they may receive honours from those sailing past, and that if Typhon should get the better of Horus, when searching for the real tomb he may be baffled, from many being so called and pointed out. Of the members of Osiris the only one Isis was unable to find was the genital member, for it had been thrown at first into the River, and lepidotus, phagrus, and oxyrynchus had fed upon it, which kinds of fish the natives scruple to eat above all others, and that Isis in its stead made a model and consecrated it, namely the phallus, in honour whereof the Egyptians hold a festival.
XIX: Afterwards Osiris came from the shades to Horus, and trained and exercised him for war, and then asked him "What he thought the finest thing possible?" and when he replied "to avenge one's father and mother when ill treated;" he asked him secondly "what he considered the most useful animal to people going to battle?" and when Horus answered, "the horse," Osiris wondered at it and was puzzled why he said the horse instead of the lion. But when Horus explained that the lion indeed was serviceable to one standing in need of aid, but the horse can both save him that flees and also destroy the enemy: Osiris on hearing this was rejoiced at the supposition that Horus had provided himself with horses. And as numbers came over from time to time to the side of Horus, Typhon's concubine, Thucris by name, came also, and a serpent pursuing her was cut to pieces by the friends of Horus; and now in memory of this event, they throw down a rope in the midst of all, and chop it to pieces. The battle lasted for many days, and Horus vanquished, but Isis having received from him Typhon in chains, did not destroy, but on the contrary unbound and let him go free. This Horus did not endure with patience, but he laid hands on his mother, and pushed the crown off her head; whereupon Hermes placed a bull's skull upon her instead of helmet. And when Typhon brought a charge of illegitimacy against Horus, Hermes acting as his counsel, Horus was pronounced legitimate by the gods. After this Typhon was beaten in two other battles; and Isis conceived by Osiris copulating with her after death, and brought forth the prematurely born, and weak in his lower limbs, Harpocrates.
XX. These are pretty nearly the heads of the legend, the most blasphemous parts being omitted; for example, about the dismemberment of Horus, and the decapitation of Isis, because if these things people believe and say concerning blessed and incorruptible natures (by whose medium the idea of the deity is mainly conceived) as having been really done, and really having happened to them—then, as Æschylus hath it:—
"We must spit at the tale, and rinse the mouth:"
and there is no more need of talking to you, in fact, you are yourself disgusted at people holding such absurd and uncivilized notions respecting the gods. Are not these things exactly like the fine-spun fables and empty tales that poets and story tellers, like spiders, breed out of themselves, without foundation from first to last, and weave and spread them out? Nevertheless, this history contains certain questions, and descriptions of real events; and in the same way as mathematicians say that the rainbow is the image of the sun, variously coloured through the reflection of the image upon the cloud, so the legend before us is a kind of reflection of a history reflecting the true meaning upon other things; as is shown forth by the sacrifices containing a representation of mourning and sadness; as also by the ground plan of the temples, in some parts spreading out into colonnades, and courts open to the sky and lightsome, in others having under ground hidden and dark galleries (like that at Thebes), and halls as well; and above all, by the belief of the Osiris worshippers, where his body is said to be deposited in several places at once. Abydos, perhaps, or the little town Memphis, they say, is celebrated for possessing the only true body: and that at Abydos are buried the rich and noble of the Egyptians, ambitious to share the burial place of Osiris’ body, whilst in Memphis is kept the Apis, the "Image of the soul of Osiris," where his body also is said to lie.
XXI. That city's name also some interpret as "Harbour of good things," others as "Tomb of Osiris;" but the "Nisbitane" placed close to the gates, is universally shunned and unapproachable, not even a bird perches upon it, nor a fish comes up to it; but at a particular season the priests cross over, and offer burnt offerings, and crown the monument which is overshadowed with the shrub called "methides," and exceeding in size any olive tree. But Eudoxus states that though there are many so-called Tombs in Egypt, yet that the true monument was erected at Busiris, for that that was the birthplace of Osiris; for thy; name "Taphosiris" requires no explanation since the name itself means "Tomb of Osiris." I approve of the chopping of wood, the cutting down of flax, the pouring out of libation, inasmuch as the generality of mystic rites are interspersed with these ceremonies, and not only the priests of this, but also of the other gods (that is of all that are not unborn and incorruptible) assert that their bodies are deposited with them, and are taken care of after their decease, but that their souls shine in heaven as stars; and that of Isis so called by the Greeks the Dog-star, but by the Egyptians Sothis; that of Horus, Orion, that of Typhon, the Bear, and towards the keep of the sacred animals, all the rest of Egypt pay an assessment, but the inhabitants of the Thebaid alone refuse to pay, because they do not hold with mortal deities; but with them whom they themselves call "Kneph," who is unborn and incorruptible.
XXII. Since many places of the sort are called and shown as divine Tombs, those who suppose them to be in reality those of kings and tyrants (who by reason of their extraordinary merit, or power, had arrogated honours to themselves by the fame of their superhuman nature, and had afterwards shared the common lot), whose terrible or mighty deeds or fates are thus commemorated, such persons find a very easy evasion of the legend, and shift its indecency from the gods upon men; and they obtain support from the religious rites. For the Egyptians relate that Hermes had one arm bent so that it could not be straightened, that Typhon was red in complexion, Horus white, and that Osiris was black skinned—just as so many men born in the course of nature. Besides, they call a general "Osiris," and a pilot "Canopus" (after whom the star is named); also that the ship which the Greeks call the Argo, was the representation of the bark of Osiris, made a constellation of in his honour; and it moves along at no great distance from Orion anti the Dog-star, of which the Egyptians hold the one to be sacred to Horus, the other to Isis.
XXIII. I am afraid that this is "moving things that ought not to be moved, and making war not only upon antiquity" (as Simonides hath it), but upon many tribes and families of man, possessed with veneration for these particular deities, when people let nothing alone, but transfer these great names from the heavens to the earth, and do their best to eradicate and destroy (or nearly so) the respect and faith implanted in men from their infancy, and opening a wide door to the atheistical sort, and also to him that humanizes the gods, and giving a splendid opportunity to the deceptions of Evemerus, the Messenian, who, by composing treatises upon his false and unfounded mythology, disseminated atheism all over the world, reducing all deities alike to the names of generals, admirals, and kings, pretended to have flourished in old times; transcribing all this forsooth from the inscriptions in letters of gold set up at Panchon which said inscriptions no foreigner nor Greek, save Evemerus alone, as it seems, has met with, when he made his voyage to the Panchoans and Triphyllans, people that never were, nor are, in any part of the globe.
XXIV. And yet great exploits are sung amongst Assyrians, namely those of Semiramis, and great in Egypt those of Sesostris; the Phrygians even to this day call splendid exploits "Manic," on account of Manis, one of their ancient kings, having been good and powerful amongst them, whom some also call "Masdes." Cyrus led the Persians, Alexander the Macedonians, conquering as they went, to all but the utmost limits of the world; they nevertheless have the name and the memory of good kings (not of gods); and if some few, puffed up with vanity, as Plato says, "with souls inflamed by youth and ignorance," have out of insolence assumed the style of gods, and the dedication of temples in their honour, yet their glory has flourished but a brief space, and thereafter they incurred the charge of vanity and arrogance, coupled with that of impiety and transgression of law:—
"Raised up like smoke, they quickly fell to earth:"
And now like fugitives that can be arrested, they are dragged out from their temples and altars, they keep nothing but their names and tombs. On which account, Antigonus the Elder, when a certain Hermodatus, in his verses, compared him to the Sun, and styled him a god, replied, "The carrier of my night-stool has not so good an opinion of me"; and with reason did Lysippus, the sculptor, censure Apelles, the painter, because in painting Alexander's portrait he had put a thunderbolt into his hand, whereas he himself had put a spear, the glory of which no time shall efface, inasmuch as it is genuine and appropriate.
XXV. Do they, therefore, better, who believe the legends told about Typhon, Osiris, and Isis, not to refer to either gods or men, but to certain great Powers (dæmons), whom Plato, Pythagoras, Xenocrates, and Chrysippus (following the ancient theologians) assert to have been created far stronger than men, and greatly surpassing our nature in power, but yet having the divine part not entirely unmixed nor unalloyed, but combined with the nature of the soul and the senses of the body, susceptible of pleasure and pain, and all other emotions the result of these, that by their vicissitudes disturb, some in a greater, others in a less degree; for, in that case, as amongst men, so amongst dæmons, exist degrees of virtue and of vice. For the deeds of the Giants and Titans, sung of by the Greeks, certain atrocious actions of Saturn, the pitched battle between Python and Apollo, the flight of Bacchus, the wanderings of Ceres do not fall short in absurdity of the legends about Osiris and Typhon, and the others that one may hear told by mythologists to any amount—all the things that are shrouded in mystic ceremonies, and are presented by rites, being kept secret and out of sight from the vulgar, and have a shape similar to those mentioned of the Egyptians.
XXVI. We also hear Homer perpetually styling the surpassingly good, "godlike," and "equal to gods," and—
… "having from gods their sense:"
whereas he applies the epithet derived from dæmons indifferently to good and bad:—
"Approach Dæmonian; wherefore fearest thou so—The Argives?"
"When like a dæmon the fourth time he charged:"
As though the dæmons had a mixed and inconsistent nature and disposition. For which reason Plato attributes to the Olympian gods all things ingenious and extraordinary; but the opposite of these to dæmons; and Xenocrates thinks that the unlucky days of the month, and whatever festivals are accompanied with stripes and blows, abusive or obscene language, have nothing to do with honouring the gods or good dæmons: but that there are certain Powers of Nature existing in the circumambient air, great and strong indeed, but malignant and ill-tempered, who take delight in such things, and if they obtain them, betake themselves to nothing worse. But the good ones, on the contrary, Hesiod styles "pure dæmons," and "guardians of men";—
"Givers of wealth; and with such royal power."
And Plato terms this species "Hermeneutic" and "Dæmonean," a middle class between gods and men, conveying up thither vows and prayers from mankind, and bringing down from thence to earth prophesies and gifts of things good. Empedocles even asserts that dæmons suffer punishment for their sins both of commission and omission:—
"Celestial wrath pursues them down to sea;
until having been thus chastened and purified, they obtain once more their natural place and position.
XXVII. Akin to these and suchlike stories are, they say, the legends told concerning Typhon; how that he committed dreadful crimes out of envy and spite, and by throwing all things into confusion he filled with evils all the land and sea as well, and finally was punished for it. But the avenger of Osiris, his Sister and Wife, who extinguished and put a stop to the madness and fury of Typhon; did not forget the contests and struggles she had gone through, nor yet her own wanderings, nor did she suffer oblivion and silence to envelope her many deeds of wisdom, many feats of courage, but by intermingling with the most sacred ceremonies, images, hints, and representations of her sufferings of yore, she consecrated at one and the same time, both lessons of piety and consolation in suffering for men and women when overtaken by misfortune. And she, together with Osiris, having been translated from the rank of good dæmons up to that of gods, by means of their virtue (as later was done with Hercules and Bacchus) receive, not inappropriately, the united honours of gods and of dæmons everywhere, both in the regions above earth, and in those under ground, possessing the supreme power, for they say that Serapis is no other than Pluto, and Isis Proserpine, as Archemoros of Euboea has asserted; as also Heraclitus of Pontas, when he supposes the Oracle at Canopas to belong to Pluto.
XXVIII. Ptolemy Soter beheld in a dream the Colossus of Pluto at Sinope, (though he had not before known nor seen what it was in appearance,) ordering him to bring it as soon as possible to Alexandria; and when he was ignorant and at a loss as to where the statue then stood, and was relating the vision to his friends, there was found a man, a great traveller, by name Sosibius, that declared he had seen at Sinope just such a Colossus as the king had dreamt he saw. He therefore despatched Soteles and Dionysius, who after much time and with difficulty (not, however, without divine aid) stole and brought away the statue. And when it was brought and seen, then Timotheus, the interpreter, and Manetho, the Sebennite, and their fellows, conjecturing that it was a figure of Pluto (drawing this conclusion from the Cerberus and the Serpent), made Ptolemy believe that it is of no other god, but of Serapis, for it did not come bearing such a name from the other place, but after it had been brought to Alexandria, it got the name that Pluto bears amongst the Egyptians, namely, Serapis. And seeing that Heraclitus, the natural philosopher, asserts that "Hades and Dionysos are the same person, when they are infuriated and rave," they (the Egyptians) slip unconsciously into the same belief. For such as explain that Hades means the Body, because the Soul is as it were out of its senses, and drunken, when confined therein, such people are too far fetched in their interpretation. It is better, therefore, to connect Osiris with Bacchus, and Serapis with Osiris, for the latter obtained this appellation after he had changed his nature, inasmuch as Serapis is common to all, in the same way as such as have partaken of the sacred rites know that Osiris is.
XXIX. For it is not worth while paying any attention to the Phrygian sacred books, wherein it is said that Serapis was the daughter of Hercules, and Typhon, son of Isaicus, son of…, nor yet to avoid treating Phylarchus with contempt for saying that Bacchus first brought two oxen out of India to Egypt; the name of one of which was Apis, of the other Osiris. For Serapis is the name of Him who puts in order the universe (πᾶν), joined to "sairein" which some say means "to beautify and arrange." For these remarks of Phylarchus are absurd; yet far more absurd the opinion of such as say Serapis is no god at all, but the coffin of Apis is so called: (they also talk of certain brazen doors at Memphis, named the "Doors of Oblivion and Wailing," which when they bury Apis utter a deep and harsh sound, for which reason [we are forbidden] to touch any sounding vessel of brass.) More endurable is the explanation of such as derive it from "stimulating (σεύεσθαι) the motion of the universe. But the most part of the priests say that "Osiris" and "Apis" are united into the same word, for they explain and inform us that we ought to consider the Apis as a beautiful image of the soul of Osiris. But for my part, if the name of Serapis is really Egyptian, and I think it signifies Cheerfulness and Rejoicing, founding my conjecture on the fact that the Egyptians call the festival of Rejoicing,
"Sai rei," in fact Plato says that Hades is so named as the "Son of Respectfulness," and a god benevolent to such as dwell with him; and amongst the Egyptians many other of the names (of gods) are significant words; also that subterraneous place whither they believe the souls go after death, they call "Amenthen," the name signifying "that which gives and takes," But whether this be one of the names carried out of Greece in ancient times, and brought back again, we will consider further on; at present it is our business to go through the remaining parts of this belief.
XXX. Osiris and Isis passed from the rank of good dæmons to that of deities; but the power of Typhon although dimmed and crushed, and still, as it were, in the last agony and convulsions, they nevertheless propitiate and soothe by means of certain sacrifices: but occasionally they humiliate and insult him at certain festivals, when they abuse red haired men and tumble an ass down a precipice; for example this is done by the people of Memphis, because Typhon was red haired, and like an ass in complexion. The people of Busiris and Lycopolis do not use trumpets at all because they make a sound like the ass: and altogether, they regard the ass as an unclean and dæmon-like animal on account of his resemblance to that personage: they make cakes also at the sacrifice of the month Paÿni and of Phaophi, and print upon them for device an ass tied. And at the sacrifice to the Sun, they enjoin those that worship this god, not to wear upon the person ornaments of gold, nor to give food to an ass. The Pythagoreans, too, prove that they regard Typhon as a dæmonic Power, for they say in perfect measure that Typhon was born on the fifty-sixth; and again that the (figure) of the Triangle belongs to Pluto, Bacchus and Mars; that of the Tetragon to Rhea, Venus, Ceres, Vesta, and Juno; that of the Dodecagon to Jove; but that of the Fifty-six sided figure to Typhon—as Eudoxus hath related.
XXXI. The Egyptians, believing that Typhon was born with red hair, dedicate to sacrifice the red coloured oxen, and make the scrutiny so close that if the beast should have even a single black or white hair, they consider it unfit for sacrifice; because such beast, offered for sacrifice, is not acceptable to the gods, but the contrary (as is) whatsoever has received the souls of unholy and unjust men, that have migrated into other bodies. For which reason they heap curses on the head of the victim, cut it off, and formerly used to throw it into the River, but nowadays they sell it to foreigners. But the ox intended for sacrifice, those of the priests entitled "Sealers" used to seal: the signet bearing (as Castor relates) an engraving of a man forced down on his knees, with hands twisted round upon his back, having a sword placed against his throat. The ass has got the credit of this resemblance [to Typhon] as they think, on account of his stupidity and unruliness, as well as his colour; for which reason as they detest Ochus especially of the Persian Kings, as sacrilegious and polluted, they surnamed him "the Ass," and he replying, "The Ass shall feast upon your Bull," he slaughtered the Apis, as Dinon tells us. But those who say that Typhon made his flight out of the battle during seven days upon an ass; and after escaping begot Hierosolymus and Judæus—these are discovered by that very fact to be lugging the Jewish history into the legend.
XXXII. These things, then, afford grounds for the explanations above advanced. Let us start afresh, and consider the most straightforward expositions; that is to say, those who are reputed to treat the subject in a more philosophic manner. These are such as pretend, like the Greeks, that Saturn symbolizes Time, Juno the Air, the birth of Vulcan, the change of Air into Fire; and similarly amongst the Egyptians, that Osiris is the Nile, copulating with Isis the Earth; Typhon, the Sea, into which the Nile flowing vanishes and is dispersed, except as much part as the earth has taken from him and received, and becomes productive thereby. There is, too, a religious lament made over Saturn, and it laments "him that is born in the left region, and that dies in the right." For the Egyptians hold that the Eastern parts are the face of the World, the Northern its right hand, the Southern its left. The Nile, therefore, flowing from the North, and in the South swallowed up by the sea, is as reasonably said to have his birth in the left hand region, and his death in the right. On which account the priests abominate the sea, and call salt "the foam of Typhon," and it is one of their prohibitions, "Not to put salt upon the table," and they do not speak to mariners, nor make use of the sea, and they keep the ox away from the sea, and from this cause principally do they reject fish, and write up "Hate fish." At any rate, at Sais, in the forecourt of the temple of Minerva, there was sculptured a child, an old man, after this a hawk, next, a fish, and at the end of all, a river-horse, and it signifies symbolically, "O ye that are coming into life, and ye that are going out of it [The Deity abhors impudence] … for the reason [they put the] old man .. . By the hawk they mean God, by the fish, hatred, on account of the sea, as has been above stated; by the river horse, impudence, for that beast is reported to kill its sire, and copulates forcibly with its dam: and the saying of the Pythagoreans that the sea is Saturn's tears, seed, may seem to imply the impurity and unsociable nature of the same element.
XXXIII. Let these stories then be told by foreigners, since they offer an explanation within everybody's reach; but the more learned among the priests do not only call the Nile, "Osiris," and the sea, "Typhon," but give the name of Osiris generally to every Principle and Power productive of moisture; regarding this as the cause of generation and the essence of seed. "Typhon" they call everything dry, fiery, dessicative, and antagonistic to moisture; for which reason as they believe him to have been red skinned and yellowish in person, they do not very willingly meet, or converse with pleasure with people having such a complexion; on the other hand they fable that Osiris was black-coloured because all water blackens earth, clouds, and garments, when mingled therewith; and in young people the presence of moisture renders the hair black, whereas greyness is, as it were, a growing pale, that by reason of dessication, comes upon them who are past their prime. The Spring too is flourishing, generative, and agreeable; but Autumn through the deficiency of moisture is both injurious to plants, and pestilential to animals. And the Ox that is kept at Heliopolis, which they call Mnevis (sacred to Osiris, and which some believe to be the sire of the Apis) is black, and receives secondary honours to those paid to Apis. Besides, Egypt which is of a black soil to the highest degree, as well as the black part of the eye, they call "Chemia," and compare it to a heart, for it is hot and moist, and is chiefly inclosed and annexed to the southern parts of the habitable world, in the same manner as the heart is in the left hand parts of man.
XXXIV. The Sun and the Moon they symbolize as using not chariots but boats for vehicles in performing their courses, expressing allegorically their nourishment and origin from moisture: and they think that Homer, like Thales, had learnt from the Egyptians to lay down that Water was the beginning and origin of all things, for that his ocean is Osiris, and his Tethys Isis, as nursing, and helping to breed up all things. For the Greeks call the emission of seed ἀπουσία, and copulation συνουσία; and ὑιὸς from ὕδωρ and ὗσαι, and Bacchus they entitle "γυς," as being lord of the moist principle, he being no other than Osiris, in fact Hellenicus has put down that he heard Osiris called Ysiris by the priests; and he persists in so denominating that god, probably on account of his nature, and his invention.
XXXV. That indeed he is the same with Bacchus, who is more fitted to know than yourself, Clea, you who have headed the Bacchanals at Delphi, and have been initiated into the rites of Osiris, ever since your childhood? But if for the sake of other people we must produce testimony, let us put on one side the things not to be revealed; but the ceremonies the priests perform in public when they are conveying the body on a raft, at the burial of the Apis, differ in nothing from the Bacchanalea; for they tie fawn-skins about them, and carry thyrsi, and make shoutings and motions like those possessed with the divine frenzy in honour of Bacchus; for which cause many of the Greeks represent Dionysos in the form of a Bull in his images; and the women of the Eleians when praying, exhort the "god with the bull's foot," to come to them. The Argives too have a Bacchus by title the "Bull-born;" and they call him up out of water by the sound of trumpets, casting into the deep pool as offerings to the "Pylaochus." The trumpets they conceal within the thyrsi as Socrates has described it in his treatise on Rituals. The Titanic also and Nyctelean rites are of the same kind with the fabled tearing to pieces of the body of Osiris, his re-turnings to life, and his new births; and, similarly, the stories about his burials. For the Egyptians, as already stated, show Tombs of Osiris in many places; and the Delphians believe that the relics of Bacchus are deposited with themselves by the side of the Oracle: and their "Holy Ones" offer a secret sacrifice in the Temple of Apollo at what time the Bacchantes waken up "Him of the winnowing fan." And that the Greeks hold Bacchus for lord and leader not only of the wine but of the whole element of Moisture, Pindar is sufficient testimony where he says, "May Bacchus that rejoiceth greatly in trees and pastures, augment the pure light of Autumn," for which reason it is forbidden to those that worship Osiris to destroy any cultivated tree, or to stop up any spring of water.
XXXVI. For not the Nile only, but all moisture in general they call the "Issue of Osiris," and the water vase always leads the procession of the priests in honour of the god, and by the figure of a fig-leaf they represent a king, and the Southern quarter of the world; and the fig-leaf is interpreted as the watering and stimulation of all things, and it is supposed to resemble in its shape the organ of generation. And when they celebrate (as already stated) the feast of Pamylia, which is a phallic one, they expose and carry about an image of which the genital member is thrice the natural size; for the god is the Final Cause, and every Final Cause multiplied by generation a function, that which proceeds from itself: and for "often" we are accustomed to say "thrice," for example "thrice-happy," and—
"Three times as many chains, without an end."
Unless perhaps, this triplication of the member was understood by the ancients in its strict sense; inasmuch as the moist Principle being the Final Cause and origin of all things, has produced from the beginning the three first elements, Earth, Air, Fire. For the tale that is tacked on to the myth, how that Typhon threw away the genital member of Osiris into the River, and that Isis could not find it, but deposited and prepared a model of the same, ordaining that people should honour it and carry the phallus about—all this permits us to infer that the generative and seminal power of the god had first for materials moisture, and by means of moisture was mixed up with the things fitted by Nature to participate in birth. There is another legend of the Egyptians that Apopis, being brother of the Sun, made war upon Jupiter, and that Jupiter adopted for son Osiris who had assisted him, and had brought the war to an end along with him, and surnamed him Bacchus. Of this legend the fabulous character can be shown to contain a touch of truth as regards natural history. For the Egyptians give the name of Jupiter to the breath, to which everything dry and fiery is antagonistic. This latter element is not the Sun, but has a certain affinity to the Sun; now moisture quenching the excess of dryness, augments and strengthens the exhalations by means of which the wind is nourished and made vigorous.
XXXVII. And, moreover, the Greeks consecrate the ivy to Bacchus, and amongst the Egyptians it is called "Kenosiris," the name signifying (as they say) the "plant of Osiris"—Ariston, therefore, who wrote the "Colonies of the Athenians," met with an epistle of Alexarchus (a writer without any knowledge of the subject) in which it is related that Bacchus, being son of Isis, was not called "Osiris" by the Egyptians, but "Arsaphes" (in his First Book), this name signifying manliness. Hermæus, too, declares the same thing in his First Book "Upon the Egyptians," for he says that Osiris" interpreted is "weighty." I pass by Mnaseas who identifies with Epaphus both Bacchus, Osiris, and Serapis; I also pass over Anticlidas who, says that Isis was daughter of Prometheus, and consort of Bacchus—for the above-stated peculiarities in the sacrifices and ceremonies carry with them proof more convincing than any testimony.
XXXVIII. Of the stars, they hold Sirius to be Isis’ Water-carrier, they honour the Lion, and decorate the gateways of temples with gaping lions’ heads, because the Nile swells:—
"When first the Sun doth with the Lion join."
And as they hold and believe the Nile the issue of Osiris, so do they regard the earth as the body of Isis: not indeed the whole earth but just as much as the Nile inundates, fecundating and mingling with it; for from the union they beget Horus. Horus is that which preserves and nourishes all thing, namely the Seasons and the regulator of the circumambient air; and they tell that he was nursed by Leto in the marshes round Buto, because the watery and thoroughly soaked earth chiefly nurses the exhalations that quench and relax the dryness and drought of the air. "Nephthys" they call the remotest parts and boundaries of the land, and those contiguous to the sea; for which reason they style Nephthys the "end," and say that she is the consort of Typhon. And when the Nile rising beyond the usual height, and growing great, approaches on the opposite side towards the extremities of the country, they call this the copulation of Osiris with Nephthys, which is betrayed by the springing up of plants; amongst which is the melilote, by which flowers having fallen off and been left behind (by Osiris) Typhon made the discovery of the injury done to his bed: from which same copulation Isis indeed conceived Horus legitimately, but Nephthys had Anubis, a bastard. However, in the "Successions of the Kings" they record that Nephthys, being married to Typhon, was at first barren, and if they tell this not of a woman, but of a goddess, they express enigmatically that the entire extent of the country was unproductive, and bore no crops from barrenness.
XXXIX. The conspiracy and tyranny of Typhon means the power of drought getting the better of, and destroying the moisture that both generates and augments the Nile: and his helper, the Queen of the Ethiopians, signifies the south winds from Ethiopia; for when these prevail over the Etesian winds (which drive the clouds towards Ethiopia), and hinder them from dissolving into rains and swelling the Nile, then does Typhon take possession and burn; and at that time he has completely mastered the Nile, which through weakness is contracted and shrunk up within itself; and drives it out, hollow and humble, into the sea: for the shutting up of Osiris in the coffer probably means nothing else than the concealment and disappearance of the water: for which reason they say that Osiris vanished in the month Athyr, at which time, the Etesian winds having entirely ceased, the Nile recedes, and the country is laid bare, and night lengthening, darkness is increased, and the power of light wastes away and is subdued, and the priests also perform other dismal rites, and cover a gilt ox with a black veil of linen; and so exhibit it in mourning for the goddess (for they consider the ox as the animated image of Osiris) for four consecutive days, beginning with the seventeenth. For the things mourned for are four in number: first, the Nile failing and shrinking; secondly, the Northerly breezes entirely extinguished through the Southerly getting the upper hand; thirdly, the day growing shorter than the night; and in addition to all this, the exposure of the land, coupled with the stripping of the trees, which cast their leaves at that very time. But on the nineteenth at night they go down to the sea, and the "Dressers" and priests bring out the sacred coffer containing a little golden ark, into which they take and pour water from the river, and a shout is raised by the assistants, as though Osiris had been found: next, they knead garden earth with this water, and mingling therewith frankincense and precious spices, they model a little image in the shape of the Moon, and this they robe and decorate, expressing thereby that they hold these deities to be the Principles of Earth and Water.