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Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 1, by G.R.S. Mead, [1906], at


IX. 1. The kings were appointed from the priests or from the warriors,—the one caste possessing worth and honour through manliness, and the other through wisdom.

2. And he who was appointed from the warriors immediately became [one] of the priests and shared in their philosophy,—which for the most part was hidden in myths and words (logoi), containing dim reflections and transparencies of truth, as, doubtless, they themselves make indirectly plain by fitly setting sphinxes up before the temples, as though their reasoning about the Gods possessed a wisdom wrapped in riddle. 1

3. Indeed, the seat 2 of Athena (that is Isis, as they think) at Saïs used to have the following inscription on it:

“I am all that has been and is and shall be, and no mortal has ever re-vealed 3 my robe.” 4

4. Moreover, while the majority think that the proper name of Zeus with the Egyptians is Amoun (which we by a slight change call Ammōn), Manethō, the Sebennyte, considers it His hidden [one], and that His [power of] hiding is made plain by the very articulation of the sound.

p. 274

5. Hecatæus 1 of Abdēra, however, says that the Egyptians use this word to one another also when they call one to them, for that its sound has got the power of “calling to.” 2

6. Wherefore when they call to the First God—who they think is the same for every man—as unto the Unmanifest and Hidden, invoking Him to make Him manifest and plain to them, they say “Amoun!”

So great, then, was the care Egyptians took about the wisdom which concerned the mysteries of the Gods.


273:1 Cf. M. L. ridellus, F. rideau, a curtain or veil.

273:2 The technical term for the sitting statue of a god or goddess.

273:3 ἀπεκάλυψεν—that is, no one within duality has expressed or shown that in which this aspect of feminine life veils itself.

273:4 For this mystical logos of Net (Neith), the Great Mother, cf. Budge, op. cit., i. 459 f.

274:1 H. flourished 550-475 B.C. A. was a town on the southern shore of Thrace.

274:2 προσκλητικήν. H. thus seems to suggest that it (? Amen) was a “word of power,” a word of magic for evoking the ka of a person, or summoning it to appear. It does not seem very probable that the Egyptians shouted it after one another in the street.

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