<<<
>>>

Legends Of The Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations

Page: 86

[FN#316] Plutarch refers to the long colonnaded courts which extend in a straight line to the sanctuary, which often contains more than one shrine, and to the chambers wherein temple properties, vestments, &c., were kept.

[FN#317] In what city the cult of Osiris originated is not known, but it is quite certain that before the end of the VIth Dynasty Abydos became the centre of his worship, and that he dispossessed the local god An-Her in the affections of the people. Tradition affirmed that the head of Osiris was preserved at Abydos in a box, and a picture of it, #### became the symbol of the city. At Abydos a sort of miracle play, in which all the sufferings and resurrection of Osiris were commemorated, was performed annually, and the raising up of a model of his body, and the placing of his head upon it, were the culminating ceremonies. At Abydos was the famous shaft into which offerings were cast for transmission to the dead in the Other World, and through the Gap in the hills close by souls were believed to set out on their journey thither. One tradition places the Elysian Fields in the neighbourhood of Abydos. A fine stone bier, a restoration probably of the XXVIth Dynasty, which represented the original bier of Osiris, was discovered there by M. Amelineau. It is now in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo.

[FN#318] Apis is called the "life of Osiris," ####, and on the death
of the Bull, its soul went to heaven and joined itself to that of
Osiris, and it formed with him the dual-god Asar-Hep, i.e., Osiris-
Apis, or Sarapis. The famous Serapeum at Memphis was called ####.

[FN#319] In Egyptian, Men-Nefer, i.e., "fair haven."

[FN#320] Osiris and Isis were worshipped at Philae until the reign of Justinian, when his general, Narses, closed the temple and carried off the statues of the gods to Constantinople, where they were probably melted down.

XXI. Eudoxus indeed asserts that, although there are many pretended sepulchres of Osiris in Egypt, the, place where his body actually lies is Busiris,[FN#321] where likewise he was born.[FN#322] As to Taphosiris, there is no need to mention it particularly, for its very name indicates its claim to be the tomb of Osiris. There are likewise other circumstances in the Egyptian ritual which hint to us the reality upon which this history is grounded, such as their cleaving the trunk of a tree, their wrapping it up in linen which they tear in pieces for that purpose, and the libations of oil which they afterwards pour upon it; but these I do not insist on, because they are intermixed with such of their mysteries as may not be revealed.

[FN#321] In Egyptian, Pa-Asar-neb-Tetu, "the house of Osiris, the lord of Tetu." In the temple of Neb-Sekert, the backbone of the god was preserved, according to one text, but another says it was his jaws(?) and interior.

[FN#322] This view represents a late tradition, or at all events one which sprang up after the decay of Abydos.


<<<
>>>