Hieroglyphics of Horapollo, tr. Alexander Turner Cory, , at sacred-texts.com
To denote the moon, or the habitable world, or letters, or a priest, or anger, or swimming, they pourtray a CYNOCEPHALUS. And they symbolise the moon by it, because the animal has a kind of sympathy with it at its conjunction
with the god. For at the exact instant of the conjunction of the moon with the sun, when the moon becomes unillumined, then the male Cynocephalus neither sees, nor eats, but is bowed down to the earth with grief, as if lamenting the ravishment of the moon: and the female also, in addition to its being unable to see, and being afflicted in the same manner as the male, ex genitalibus sanguinem emittit: hence even to this day cynocephali are brought up in the temples, in order that from them may be ascertained the exact instant of the conjunction of the sun and moon. And they symbolise by it the habitable world, because they hold that there are seventy-two primitive countries of the world; and because these animals, when brought up in the temples, and attended with
care, do not die like other creatures at once in the same day, but a portion of them dying daily is buried by the priests, while the rest of the body remains in its natural state, and so on till seventy-two days are completed, by which time it is all dead. They also symbolise letters by it, because there is an Egyptian race of cynocephali that is acquainted with letters; wherefore, when a cynocephalus is first brought into a temple, the priest places before him a tablet, and a reed, and ink, to ascertain whether it be of the tribe that is acquainted with letters, and whether it writes. The animal is moreover consecrated to Hermes [Thoth], the patron of all letters. And they denote by it a priest, 1 because by nature the cynocephalus does not eat fish, nor
even any food that is fishy, like the priests. And it is born circumcised, which circumcision the priests also adopt. And they denote by it anger, because this animal is both exceedingly passionate and choleric beyond others:—and swimming, because other animals by swimming 1 appear dirty, but this alone swims to whatever spot it intends to reach, and is in no respect affected with dirt.
II. A common symbol of Thoth.
33:1 Sacred scribe.
34:1 De Pauw suggests—...—are borne down by the stream, but this alone swims to the spot it intends to reach without being carried down by the stream. The passage is very obscure.