Page images

of preparations for thee in the secret house ; she has destroyed the pain which is in thy limbs and the sickness as if it never existed. Life is given to thee by the most excellent wife.

Hail, thou protectest the inundation in the fields of Aphroditopolis this day.

The cow (i.e., Isis) weeps aloud for thee with her voice, thy love is the limit of her desire. Her heart flutters because thou art shut up from her.

She would embrace thy body with both arms and would come to thee quickly.

She avenges thee on account of what was done to thee, she makes sound for thee thy flesh on thy bones, she attaches thy nose to thy face for thee, she gathers together for thee all thy bones.”

In the calendar of the lucky and unlucky days of the Egyptian year, the directions concerning the 26th day of the month of Thoth, which is marked 021214, or “thrice unlucky,” say, “Do nothing at all on this day, for it is the day on which Horus fought against Set. Standing on the soles of their feet they aimed blows at each other like men, and they became like two bears of hell, lords of Kher-āha. They passed three days and three nights in this manner, after which Isis made their weapons fall. Horus fell down, crying out, 'I am thy son Horus,' and Isis cried to the weapons, saying, 'Away, away, from my son Horus '

Her brother Set fell down and cried out, saying, 'Help, help!'Isis cried out to the weapons, "Fall down.' Set cried out several times, 'Do I not wish to honour my mother's brother?' and Isis cried out to the weapons, ‘Fall down-set my elder brother free’; then the weapons fell away from him.

And Horus and Set stood up like two men, and each paid no attention to what they had said. And the majesty of Horus was enraged against his mother Isis like a panther of the south, and she fled before him. On that day a terrible struggle took place, and Horus cut off the head of Isis ; and Thoth transformed this bead by his incantations, and put it on her again in the form of a head of a cow." (Chabas, Le Calendrier, p. 29.)

Nephthys, 17 ), Nebt-þet, sister of Osiris and Isis, is

generally represented standing at the bier of Osiris lamenting him. One myth relates that Osiris mistook her for Isis, and that Anubis, the god of the dead, was the result of the union.

, shipped in the earliest times. He was the opponent of Horus in a three days' battle, at the end of which he was defeated. He was worshipped by the Hyksos, and also by the Kheta ; but in the later days of the Egyptian empire he was supposed to be the god of evil, and was considered to be the chief fiend and rebel against the sun-god Rā.

usually represented with the head of a jackal.

Anubis, 40 , Ånpu, the god of the dead, is Seb, 3), or Ķeb, was the husband of Nut, and

father of Osiris and the other gods of that cycle.



SEB, or ĶEB.

Thoth, Teħuti, “the measurer,' was the scribe of the gods, and the measurer of time and inventor of numbers. In the judgment hall of Osiris he stands by the side of the balance holding a palette and reed ready to record the result of the weighing as announced by the dog-headed ape which sits on the middle of the beam of the scales. In one aspect he is the god of the moon, and is represented with the head of an ibis.

[blocks in formation]


was associated with #men-Rä and Mut in the Theban triad. He was the god of the moon, and is represented as hawk-headed and wearing the lunar disk and crescent. His second name was Nefer-hetep, and he was worshipped with great honour at Thebes.

Sebek, , the crocodile-headed god, was worshipped at Kom-Ombos and in the Fayyûm. I-em-hetep (Imouthis), 9

was the son of Ptah, and was probably a man deified.

0 ܘ

Shu, ße, and Tefnut,

e 5A

were the parents of Seb and Nut, and were the personifications of sunlight and moisture respectively.

Athor, or Hathor, Het-Heru, “the house of Horus,' is identified with Nut, the sky, or place in which she brought forth and suckled Horus. She was the wife of Åtmu, a form of Rā. She is represented as a woman wearing a headdress in the shape of a vulture, and above it a disk and horns. She is called mistress of the gods,' *lady of the sycamore,' lady of the west,' and 'Hathor of Thebes.' She is the female power of nature, and has some of the attributes of Isis, Nut, and Mut. She is often represented under the form of a cow coming out of the Theban hills.

[blocks in formation]


the goddess of 'Law,' was the eye of the Sun-god Rā; she is represented as wearing

. the feather P, emblematic of law &

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

វា ;

[ocr errors]

ing a cluster of flowers on his head ; he is coloured red and green, probably to represent the colours of the water of the Nile immediately before and just after the beginning of the inundation. Osiris-Apis,

was a god intro duced into Egypt during the reign of the Ptolemies ; * he is represented with the head of a bull wearing a disk and

He is said to be the second son of Ptah. By both Egyptians and Greeks he was regarded as the personification of Hades. The worship of Apis at Memphis goes back to the earliest times; the Serapeum, discovered there by M. Mariette, contained the tombs of Apis bulls from the time of Amenophis III. (about B.C. 1550) down to the time of the Roman Empire.


.... the Lagids, as well as the Seleucids, were careful of disturbing the foundations of the old religion of the country; ..... they introduced . . ... the Greek god of the lower world, Pluto, into the native worship, under the hitherto little mentioned name of the Egyptian god Serapis, and then gradually transferred to this the old Osiris worship." (Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, Vol. II., p. 265.)

« PreviousContinue »