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Legends Of The Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations

Page: 89

[Sec. XXVII. To this class belonged Typhon, who was punished by Isis. In memory of all she had done and suffered, she established certain rites and mysteries which were to be types and images of her deeds, and intended these to incite people to piety, and, to afford them consolation. Isis and Osiris were translated from good Daemons into gods, and the honours due to them are rightly of a mixed kind, being those due to gods and Daemons. Osiris is none other than Pluto, and Isis is not different from Proserpine.]

[Sec. XXX. Typhon is held by the Egyptians in the greatest contempt, and they do all they can to vilify him. The colour red being associated with him, they treat with contumely all those who have a ruddy complexion; the ass[FN#324] being usually of a reddish colour, the men of Koptos are in the habit of sacrificing asses by casting them down precipices. The inhabitants of Busiris and Lycopolis never use trumpets, because their sounds resemble the braying of an ass. The cakes which are offered at the festivals during Paoni and Paopi are stamped with the figure of a fettered ass. The Pythagoreans regarded Typhon as a daemon, and according to them he was produced in the even number fifty-six; and Eudoxus says that a figure of fifty-six angles typifies the nature of Typhon.]

[FN#324] The ass is associated with Set, or Typhon, in the texts, but on account of his virility he also typifies a form of the Sun-god. In a hymn the deceased prays, "May I smite the Ass, may I crush the serpent-fiend Sebau," but the XLth Chapter of the Book of the Dead is entitled, "Chapter of driving back the Eater of the Ass." The vignette shows us the deceased in the act of spearing a monster serpent which has fastened its jaws in the back of an ass. In Chapter CXXV. there is a dialogue between the Cat and the Ass.

[Sec. XXXI. The Egyptians only sacrifice red-coloured bulls, and a single black or white hair in the animal's head disqualifies it for sacrifice. They sacrifice [creatures] wherein the souls of the wicked have been confined, and through this view arose the custom of cursing the animal to be sacrificed, and cutting off its bead and throwing it into the Nile. No bullock is sacrificed which has not on it the seal of the priests who were called "Sealers." The impression from this seal represents a man upon his knees, with his hands tied behind him, and a sword pointed at his throat. The ass is identified with Typhon not only because of his colour, but also because of his stupidity and the sensuality of his disposition. The Persian king Ochus was nicknamed the "Ass," which made him to say, "This ass shall dine upon your ox," and accordingly he slew Apis. Typhon is said to have escaped from Horus by a flight of seven days on an ass.]

[THIRD EXPLANATION OF THE STORY.]


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