Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lafaye, Histoire du culte des divinités d'Alexandrie hors de l'Egypte, Paris, 1884, and, article "Isis" in Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionn. des antiquités, III, 1899,

p. 229

where may be found (p. 586) an index of the earlier works. Drexler, art. "Isis" in Roscher, Lexikon der Mythol., II, p. 373-548.--Réville, op. cit., pp. 54 ff.--Wissowa, op. cit., pp. 292 ff.--Dill, op. cit., pp. 560 ff.--Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie und Religionsgesch., pp. 1563-1581 (published after the revision of this chapter).--The study of the Roman cult of the Alexandrian gods is inseparable from that of the Egyptian religion. It would be impossible to furnish a bibliography of the latter here. We shall only refer the reader to the general works of Maspero, Etudes de Mythologie, 4 vols., Paris, 1893, and Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient, 1895 (Passim).--Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, London, 1897 [cf. Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, "Religion of Egypt," V, pp. 177-197].--Erman, Die ägyptische Religion, Berlin, 1910.--Naville, La religion des anciens Egyptiens (six lectures delivered at the Collège de France), 1906.--W. Otto, Priester und Tempel im hellenistischen Aegypten, 2 vols., 1905, 1908.--The publication of a Bulletin critique des religions de l'Egypte by Jean Capart, begun in the Rev. de l'hist. des religions (LI, 1905, pp. 192 ff.; LIII, 1906, pp. 307 ff.; 1909, pp. 162 ff.).

4_1. Cf. on this controversy Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides, I, p. 102; S. Reinach, Cultes, Mythes et Religions, II, pp. 347 f.; Lehmann, Beiträge zur alten Geschichte, IV, 1904, pp. 396 ff.; Wilcken, Archiv f. Papyrusforschung, III, 1904, pp. 249 ff.; Otto, Priester und Tempel, I, 1905, pp. 11 ff.; Gruppe, loc. cit., pp. 1578 ff.; Petersen, Die Serapislegende, 1910, pp. 47 ff.; Schmidt, Kultübertragungen, 1910, pp. 47 ff.

4_2. Herodotus, II, 42, 171.--Cf. n. 4.

4_3. Ælius Aristides, VIII, 56 (I, p. 96, ed. Dindorf). Cf. Plut., De Iside et Osiride, ed. Parthey, p. 216.

4_4. Plut., De Is. et Osir., 28; cf. Otto, Priester und Tempel, II, pp. 215 ff.--This Timotheus is undoubtedly the same one that wrote about the Phrygian mysteries; see infra, n. 79.--The question, to what extent the Hellenistic cult had the form ascribed to it by Plutarch and Apuleius immediately after its creation, is still unsettled; see Otto, Priester und Tempel, II, p. 222. We do not appear to have any direct proof of the existence of "mysteries" of Isis and Serapis

p. 230

prior to the Empire, but all probabilities are in favor of a more ancient origin, and the mysteries were undoubtedly connected with the ancient Egyptian esoterism.--See infra, n. 78.

4_5. Diogenes Laertius, V, 5, § 76: Ὅθεν καὶ τοὺς παιᾶνας ποιῆσαι τοὺς μέχρι τῦν ᾁ δομένους. The μέχρι νῦν Diogenes took undoubtedly from his source, Didymus. See Artemidorus, Onirocr., II, 44 (p. 143, 25 Hercher).--This information is explicitly confirmed by an inscription which mentions ἡ ἱερὰ τάξις τῶν παιανιστῶν (Inscr. Graec., XIV, 1034).

4_6. Kaibel, Epigr. 1028 = Abel, Orphica, p. 295, etc.--See supra, ch. 1, n.  1_14.--According to recent opinion, M. de Wilamowitz was good enough to write me, the date of the Andros hymn cannot have been later than the period of Cicero, and it is very probably contemporary with Sulla.--See supra, ch. I, n. 14.--On other similar texts, see Gruppe, Griech. Mythol., p. 1563.

4_7. Amelung, Le Sérapis de Bryaxis (Revue archéol, 1903, II), p. 178.

4_8. p. Foucart, Le culte de Dionysos en Attique (Mém. Acad. des Inscr., XXXVII), 1904. On the Isis cult in ancient Greece, we can now refer to Gruppe, Griech. Myth., pp. 1565 ff.; Ruhl, De Sarapide et Iside in Graecia cultis (Diss. Berlin) 1906, has made careful use of the epigraphic texts dating back to the time before the Roman period.

4_9. The only exception is the Zeus Ammon, who was only half Egyptian and owed his very early adoption to the Greek colonies of Cyrene; see Gruppe, Griech. Myth., p. 1558. The addition of other goddesses, like Nephtis or Bubastis to Isis is exceptional.

4_10. Concerning the impression which Egypt made on travelers, see Friedländer, Sittengesch., II6, 144 ff.; Otto, Priester und Tempel, II, p. 210.

4_11. Juvenal, XV, 10, and the notes of Friedländer on these passages.--The Athenian comic writers frequently made fun of the Egyptian zoolatry (Lafaye, op. cit., p. 32). Philo of Alexandria considered the Egyptians as the most idolatrous heathens and he attacked their animal worship, in particular

p. 231

[paragraph continues] (De Decal., 16, II, p. 193 M., and passim). The pagan writers were no less scandalized (Cicero, Nat. deor., III, 15, etc.) except where they preferred to apply their ingenuity to justify it. See Dill, loc. cit., p. 571.--The features of this cult in ancient Egypt have been recently studied by George Foucart, Revue des idées, Nov. 15, 1909, and La méthode comparative et l'histoire des religions, 1909, pp. 43 ff.

4_12. Macrobius, Sat., I, 20, § 16.

4_13. Holm, Gesch. Siziliens, I, p. 81.

4_14. Libanius, Or., XI, 114 (I, p. 473 Förster). Cf. Drexler in Roscher, op. cit., col. 378.

4_15. Pausan., I, 18, 4: Σαράπιδος ὃν παρὰ Πτολεμαόιυ θεὸν εἰσηγάγοντο. Ruhl (op. cit., p. 4) attaches no historic value to this text, but, as he points out himself, we have proof that an official Isis cult existed at Athens under Ptolemy Soter, and that Serapis was worshiped in that city at the beginning of the third century.

4_16. Dittenberger, Or. gr. inscr. sel., No. 16.

4_17. Apul., Metam., XI, 17,

4_18. Thus it is found to be the case from the first half of the third century at Thera, a naval station of the Ptolemies (Hiller von Gätringen, Thera, III, pp. 85 ff.; cf. Ruhl, op. cit., p. 59), and also at Rhodes (Rev. archéol., 1905, I, p. 341). Cult of Serapis at Delos, cf. Comptes rendus Acad. inscr., 1910, pp. 294 ff.

4_19. A number of proofs of its diffusion have been collected by Drexler, loc. cit., p. 379. See Lafaye, "Isis" (cf. supra), p. 577; and Ruhl, De Sarapide et Iside in Graecia cultis, 1906.

4_20. This interpretation has already been proposed by Ravaisson (Gazette archéologique, I, pp. 55 ff.), and I believe it to be correct, see Comptes Rendus Acad. Inscr., 1906, p. 75, n. I.

4_21. The power of the Egyptian cult in the Oriental half of the empire has been clearly shown by von Domaszewski (Röm. Mitt., XVII. 1902, pp. 333 ff.), but perhaps with some exaggeration. All will endorse the restrictions formulated by Harnack, Ausbreitung des Christentums, II, p. 274.

4_22. The very early spread of Orphic doctrines in Magna Graecia, evidenced by the tablets of Sybaris and Petilia (Diels,

p. 232

[paragraph continues] Vorsokratiker, II2, p. 480) must have prepared the way for it. These tablets possess many points in common with the eschatological beliefs of Egypt, but, as their latest commentator justly remarks (Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, p. 624), these new ideas are fairly overwhelmed in the old mythology. The mysteries of Isis and Serapis seemed to offer a revelation that had been a presentiment for a long time, and the affirmation of a truth foreshadowed by early symbols.

4_23. CIL, X, 1781, I, 15-6.

4_24. Apul., Metam., XI, 30.

4_25. Wissowa, op. cit., p. 292-3; cf. Seeck, Hermes, XLIII, 1908, p. 642.

4_26. Manicheism was later persecuted on a similar pretext, see Collat. Mos. et Rom. leg., 15, 3, § 4: "De Persica adversaria nobis gente progressa."

4_27. A full list of the inscriptions and monuments discovered in the various cities is given by Drexler in Roscher, Lexikon, s.v. "Isis," II, Col. 409 ff.

4_28. Hirschfeld, CIL, XII., p. 382, and Wiener Studien, V, 1883, pp. 319-322.

4_29. Cf. Wissowa, op. cit., pp. 294 ff.

4_30. Minuc. Fel., Octav. 22, 2: "Haec Ægyptia quondam nunc et sacra Romana sunt."

4_31. Carmen contra paganos (Anthol. lat., ed. Riese, I, 20 ff.) v. 91, 95 ff.; cf. Ps. Aug., Quaest. Vet. Test., CXIV, II (p. 308, 10 Souter), and Rev. hist. litt. relig., VIII, 1903, p. 422, n. 1.

4_32. Rufin, II, 24: "Caput ipsum idolatriae." A miniature from an Alexandrian chronicle shows the patriarch Theophilus, crowned with a halo, stamping the Serapeum under foot, see Bauer and Strzygowski, Eine alexandrinische Weltchronik (Denkschr. Akad. Wien, LI), 1905, to the year 391, pp. 70 122, and pl. VI.

4_33. Cf. Drexler in Roscher, s. v. "Isis," II, p. 425; Harnack, Ausbreitung des Christentums, II, pp. 147 ff.--Some curious details showing the persistence of the Isis cult among the professors and students of Alexandria during the last years of the

p. 233

fifth century are given in the life of Severus of Antioch by Zachariah the Scholastic (Patrol. orient., I, ed. Kugener), pp. 17 ff., 27 ff.

4_34. Ps.-Apul., 34. Compare with a similar prophecy in the Sibylline oracles, V, 184 f. (p. 127, Geffcken ed.).

4_35. Iseum of Beneventum; cf. Notizie debgli scavi di ant., 1904, pp. 107 ff. Iseum of the Campus Martius: see Lanciani, Bollet. communale di Roma, 1883, pp. 33 ff.; Marucchi, ibid., 1890, pp. 307 f.--The signa Memphitica (made of Memphian marble), are mentioned in an inscription (Dessau, Inscr. sel., 4367-8).--The term used in connection with Caracalla: "Sacra Isidis Romam deportavit," which Spartianus (Carac., 9; cf. Aur. Vict., Cæs., 21, 4) no longer understood, also seems to refer to a transfer of sacred Egyptian monuments. At Delos a statue of a singer taken from some grave of the Saïs period had been placed in the temple. Everything Egyptian was looked upon as sacred. (Ruhl, op. cit., p. 53).

4_36. Gregorovius, Gesch. des Kaisers Hadrian, pp. 222 ff.; cf. Drexler, loc. cit., p. 410.

4_37. The term is Wiedemann's.

4_38. Naville, op. cit., pp. 89 ff.

4_39. On the ἱερογραμματεύς Cheremon, see Otto, Priester und Tempel II, p. 216; Schwartz in Pauly-Wissowa, Realenc., III, col. 2025 ff.

4_40. Doctrines of Plutarch: cf. Decharme, Traditions religieuses chez les Grecs, pp. 486 ff. and supra, ch. I, n.  1_20.

4_41. I did not mention Hermetism, made prominent by the researches of Reitzenstein, because I believe its influence in the Occident to have been purely literary. To my knowledge there is no trace in the Latin world of an Hermetic sect with a clergy and following. The Heliognostae or Deinvictiaci who, in Gaul, attempted to assimilate the native Mercury with the Egyptian Thoth, (Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 49, n. 2; cf. 359), were Christian gnostics. I believe that Reitzenstein misunderstood the facts when he stated (Wundererzählungen, 1906, p. 128): "Die hermetische Literatur ist im zweiten und dritten Jahrhundert für alle religiös-interessierten der allgemeine Ausdruck der Frömmigkeit geworden." I believe that Hermetism,

p. 234

which is used as a label for doctrines of very different origin, was influenced by "the universal spirit of devotion," and was not its creator. It was the result of a long continued effort to reconcile the Egyptian traditions first with Chaldean astrology, then with Greek philosophy, and it became transformed simultaneously with the philosophy. But this subject would demand extended development. It is admitted by Otto, the second volume of whose book has been published since the writing of these lines, that not even during the Hellenistic period was there enough theological activity of the Egyptian clergy to influence the religion of the times. (Priester und Tempel, II, pp. 218-220).

4_42. Plut., De Isid., 9.

4_43. Apul., Metam., XI, 5.

4_44. CIL, X, 3800 = Dessau, Inscr. sel., 4362.

4_45. See the opening pages of this chapter.

4_46. Plut,. De Iside et Osir., 52; cf. Hermes Trismegistus, Ὅροι Ἀσκληπίου, c. 16; and Reitzenstein, Poimandres, p. 197.

4_47. Cf. Naville, op. cit., pp. 170 ff.

4_48. Juv., VI, 489: "Isiacae sacraria lenae"; cf. Friedländer, Sittengeschichte, I6, p. 502.

4_49. In a recent book Farnell has brilliantly outlined the history of the ritual of purification and that of the conception of purity throughout antiquity (Evolution of Religion, London, 1905, pp. 88-192), but unfortunately he has not taken Egypt into account where the primitive forms have been maintained with perhaps the fewest alterations.

4_50. Juv., VI, 522 ff.

4_51. Friedländer, Sittengeschichte, I6, p. 510.--On this transformation of the Isis cult, cf. Réville, op. cit., p. 56.

4_52. Plut., De Iside, c. 2; cf. Apul., Met., XI, 6, end.

4_53. Ælius Arist., In Sarap., 25 (II, p. 359, Keil ed.); see Diodorus, I, 93, and Apuleius, XI, 6, end.--On future rewards and punishments in Hermetism, see Ps.-Apul., Asclepius, c. 28; Lydus, De mensib., IV, 32 and 149, Wünsch ed.

4_54. Porph., Epist. ad Aneb., 29. The answer of the Ps.-Iamblichus (de Myst., VI, 5-7) is characteristic. He maintained

p. 235

that these threats were addressed to demons; however, he was well aware that the Egyptians did not distinguish clearly between incantations and prayers (VI, 7, 5).

4_55. Cf. G. Hock, Griechische Weihegebräuche, 1905, pp. 65 ff. Ps.-Apul., Asclep., 23: "Homo fictor est deorum qui in templis sunt et non solum inluminatur, verum etiam inluminat"; c. 37: "Proavi invenerunt artem qua efficerent deos." Cf. George Foucart, loc. cit. [n. 61]: "La statuaire égyptienne a, avant tout autre, le caractère de crier des êtres vivants."

4_56. Maspero, Sur la toute-puissance de la parole (Recueil de travaux, XXIV), 1902, pp. 163-175; cf. my Récherches sur le manichéisme, p. 24, n. 2.--The parallelism between the divine and the sacerdotal influence is established in Ps.-Apul., Asclepius, 23.

4_57. Iamblichus, Myst., VI, 6; cf. G. Foucart, La méthode comparative et l'histoire des religions, 1909, p. 131, 141, 149 ff. and infra, n. 66. The Egyptians prided themselves on having been the first "to know the sacred names and to use the sacred speech" (Luc., De Dea Syr., I).

4_58. This has been proven by Otto, Priester und Tempel, I, pp. 114 ff. Cf. supra, chap. II, n. 35. Certain busts have recently inspired Mr. Dennison to give his attention to the tonsure of the votaries of Isis (American Journ. of Archeology, V, 1905, p. 341). The Pompeian frescoes representing priests and ceremonies of the Isis cult are particularly important for our knowledge of the liturgy (Guimet, C. R. Acad. des Inscr., 1896, pls. VII-IX Cf. von Bissing, Transact. congr. relig. Oxford, 1908, I, pp. 225 ff.).

4_59. CIL, XII, 3061. "Ornatrix fani."

4_60. Cf. Kan, De Iove Dolicheno, 1901, p. 33.

4_61. Cf. Moret, Le rituel du culte divin journalier en Egypte, Paris, 1902. Just as the ritual of consecration brought the statue to life (supra, n. 55), the repeated sacrifices sustained life and made it longa durare per tempora (Ps.-Apul., Asclep., 38). The epithet of αείζωος, given to several divinities (CIG, 4598; Griech. Urkunden of Berlin, 1, No. 124), expresses it exactly. All this is in conformity with the old ideas prevailing in the valley of the Nile (see George Foucart, Revue des 

p. 236

idées, Nov. 15, 1908).--When compared with the Egyptian ceremonial, the brief data scattered through the Greek and Latin authors become wonderfully clear and coherent.

4_62. Apul., XI, 22: "Rituque sollemni apertionis celebrato ministerio." Cf. XI, 20: "Matutinas apertiones templi."

4_63. Jusephus, Ant. Jud., XVIII, 3, 5, § 174.

4_64. Servius ad Verg., Aen., IV, 512: "In templo Isidis aqua sparsa de Nilo esse dicebatur"; cf. II, 116. When, by pouring water taken from the river, reality took the place of this fiction, the act was much more effective; see Juv. VII, 527.

4_65. This passage, together with a chapter from Apuleius (XI, 20), is the principal text we have in connection with the ritual of those Isis matins. (De Abstin., IV, 9):

Ὥς που ἕτι καὶ νῦν ἐν τῇ ἀνοίξει τοῦ ἁγίου Σαράπιδος ἡ θεραπεία διὰ πυρὸς καὶ ὕδατος γίνεται, λείβοντος τοῦ ὑμνωδοῦ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ πῦρ φαίνοντος, ὁπηνίκα ἑστὼς ἐπὶ τοῦ οὐδοῦ τῇ πατρίῳ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων φωνῇ ἑγείπει τὸν θεόν.

Arnobius (VII. 32) alludes to the same belief of the votaries of Isis: "Quid sibi volunt excitationes illae quas canitis matutini conlatis ad tibiam vocibus? Obdormiscunt enim superi remeare ut ad vigilias debeant? Quid dormitiones illae quibus ut bene valeant auspicabili salutatione mandatis?"

4_66. On the power of "barbarian names" see my Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 313, n. 4; Dieterich, Mithrasliturgie, pp. iii ff. Cf. Charles Michel, Note sur un passage de Jamblique (Mélanges, Louis Havet), 1909, p. 279.--On the persistence of the same idea among the Christians, cf. Harnack, Ausbreitung des Christ., I, pp. 124 ff.; Heitmüller, Im Namen Jesu, Göttingen, 1903 (rich material).

4_67. Apul., Met., XI, 9.

4_68. CIL, II, 3386 = Dessau, Inscr. sel., 442; cf. 4423.

4_69. Apul., XI, 24; cf. Lafaye, pp. 118 ff. Porphyry (De Abstin., IV, 6) dwells at length on this contemplative character of the Egyptian devotion: The priests ἀπέδοσαν ὅλον τὸν βίον τῇ τῶν θεῶν θεωρίᾳ καὶ θεάσει.

4_70. In the Pharaonic ritual the closing ceremony seems to have taken place during the morning, but in the Occident the sacred images were exposed for contemplation, and the ancient

p. 237

[paragraph continues] Egyptian service must, therefore, have been divided into two ceremonies.

4_71. Herodotus, II, 37.

4_72. Cf. Maspero, Rev. critique, 1905, II, p. 361 ff.

4_73. Apul., Metam., XI, 7 ff.--This festival seems to have persisted at Catana in the worship of Saint Agatha; cf. Analecta Bollandiana, XXV, 1906, p. 509.

4_74. Similar masquerades are found in a number of pagan cults (Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 315), and from very early times they were seen in Egypt; see von Bissing, loc. cit., n. 58, p. 228.

4_75. The pausarii are mentioned in the inscriptions; cf. Dessau, Inscr. sel., 4353, 4445.

4_76. Schäfer, Die Mysterien des Osiris in Abydos unter Sesostris III, Leipsic, 1904; cf. Capart, Rev. hist. relig., LI, 1905, p. 229, and Wiedemann, Mélanges Nicole, pp. 574 ff. Junker, "Die Stundenwachen in den Osirismysterien" (Denkschrift Akad. Wien, LIV) 1910.

4_77. In the Abydos mysteries, the god Thoth set out in a boat to seek the body of Osiris. Elsewhere it was Isis who sailed out in quest of it. We do not know whether this scene was played at Rome; but it certainly was played at Gallipoli where make-believe fishermen handled the nets in a make-believe Nile; cf. P. Foucart, Rech. sur les myst. d'Eleusis (Mém. Acad. Inscr., XXXV), p. 37.

4_78. Cheremon in Porphyry, Epist. ad Aneb., 31:

Καὶ τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς Ἴσιδος ἐπαινεῖ καὶ τὸ ἐν Ἁβύδῳ ἀπόρρητον δείξει.

Cf. Iamblichus, De myster., VI, 5-7.--On the "mysteries" of Isis in Egypt, cf. Foucart, loc. cit., p. 19 f.; De Jong, De Apuleio Isiacorum mysteriorum teste, Leyden, 1900, pp. 79 f., and Das antike Mysterienwesen, Leyden, 1909.

4_79. Cf. supra.--De Jong, op. cit., pp. 40 ff.; Gruppe, Griech. Mythol., p. 1574.

4_80. La Cité antique, I, ch. II, end.

4_81. Cf. Erman, op. cit., pp. 96-97.

4_82. Sufficient proof is contained in the bas-reliefs cited above (n.  4_20), where apotheosized death assumes the shape of Serapis.

p. 238

[paragraph continues] Compare Kaibel, Inscr. gr., XIV, 2098: Εὐψύχι μετὰ τοῦ Ὀσείριδος. This material conception of immortality could be easily reconciled with the old Italian ideas, which had persisted in a dormant state in the minds of the people, see Friedländer, Sittengeschichte, III6, p. 758.

4_83. Reitzenstein, Archiv für Religionswiss., VII, 1904, 406 ff. These are perhaps the most striking pages written on the meaning of the ceremony; it is ἀπαθανατισμός. Cf. also Reitzenstein, Hellenistische Wundererzählungen, p. z16.

4_84. Apul., Metam., 23.--De Jong, the latest commentator on this passage, seems inclined to take it as a mere ecstatic vision, but the vision was certainly caused by a dramatic scene in the course of which hell and heaven were shown in the dark.--The Egyptians represented them even on the stage; see Suetonius, Calig., 8: "Parabatur et in mortem spectaculum quo argumenta inferorum per Aegyptios et Aethiopas explicarentur."

4_85. Apul., Met., XI, 6 end.

4_86. Ibid., c. 24: "Inexplicabili voluptate <aspectu> divini simulacri perfruebar."

4_87. Plut., De Isid., 78, p. 383 A:

Ὡς ἂν ἐξηρτημέναις (ταῖς ψυχαῖς) ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ (τοῦ Ὀσίριδος) καὶ θεωμέναις ἀπλήστως καὶ ποθούσαις τὸ φατὸν μηδὲ ῥητὸν ἀνθρώποις κάλλος.

4_88. Cf. supra, n.  4_22.

4_89. We find similar wishes on the Egyptian monuments, frequently at least since the Middle Empire. "Donnez-moi de l'eau courante à boire . . . . Mettez-moi la face au vent du nord sur le bord de l'eau et que sa fraîcheur calme mon cœur" (Maspero, Eludes égyptiennes, I, 1881, p. 189). "Oh, si j'avais de l'eau courante à boire et si mon visage était tourné vers le vent du nord" (Naville, op. cit., p. 174). On a funerary stele in the Brussels museum (Capart, Guide, 1905, p. 70 is inscribed, "Que les dieux accordent de boire l'eau des sources, de respirer les doux vents du nord."--The very material origin of this wish appears in the funeral texts, where the soul is shown crossing the desert, threatened with hunger and thirst, and obtaining refreshment by the aid of the gods (Maspero, Eludes de mythol. et d'archéol. égypt., 1883, I, pp.

p. 239

[paragraph continues] 366 ff.).--On a tablet at Petilia (see supra, n.  4_22), the soul of the deceased is required to drink the fresh water (ψυχρὸν ὕδωρ) flowing from the lake of Memory in order to reign with the heroes. There is nothing to prevent our admitting with Foucart ("Myst. d'Eleusis," Mém. Acad. des Inscr., XXXV, 2, p. 67), that the Egyptian ideas may have permeated the Orphic worship of southern Italy after the fourth or third century, since they are found expressed a hundred years earlier at Carpentras (infra, n. go).

4_90. Δοίη σοι ὁ Ὄσιρις τὸ ψυχρὸν ὕδωρ, at Rome: Kaibel, Inscr. gr. XIV, 1488, 1705, 1782, 1842; cf. 658 and CIL, VI, 3. 20616.--Σοὶ δὲ Ὀσείριδος ἁγνὸν ὕδωρ Εἶσις χαρίσαιτο, Rev. archéol., 1887. p. 199, Cf. 201.--Ψυχῇ διψώσῃ ψυχρὸν ὕδωρ μετάδος, CIG, 6267=Kaibel, 1890. It is particularly interesting to note that almost the same wish appears on the Aramaic stele of Carpentras (C. I. Sem., II, 141), which dates back to the fourth or fifth century B. C.: "Blessed be thou, take water from in front of Osiris."--A passage in the book of Enoch manifestly inspired by Egyptian conceptions, mentions the "spring of water," the "spring of life," in the realm of the dead (Enoch, xxii. 2, 9. Cf. Martin, Le livre d'Hénoch, 1906, p. 58, n. 1, and Bousset, Relig. des Judentums, 1903, p 271). From Judaism the expression has passed into Christianity. Cf. Rev. vii. 17; xxi. 6.

4_91. The Egyptian origin of the Christian expression has frequently been pointed out and cannot be doubted; see Lafaye, op. cit., p. 96, n. I; Rohde, Psyche, II, p. 391; Kraus, Realencycl. der christl. Alt., s. v. "Refrigerium"; and especially Dieterich, Nekyia, pp. 95 ff. Cf. Perdrizet, Rev. des études anc., 1905, p. 32; Audollent, Mélanges Louis Havet, 909, p. 575.--The refrigerii sedes, which the Catholic Church petitions for the deceased in the anniversary masses, appears in the oldest Latin liturgies, and the Greeks, who do not believe in purgatory, have always expressed themselves along the same lines. For instance, Nubian inscriptions which are in perfect agreement with the euchology of Constantinople hope the soul will rest ἐν τόπῳ χλοερῷ ἐν τόπῳ ἀναψύξεως (G. Lefebvre, Inscr. gr. chrét. d'Eg., No. 636, 664 ff., and introd., p. xxx; cf. Dumont, Mélanges, Homolle ed., pp. 585 ff.). The detail is not without significance because it furnishes a valuable

p. 240

indication as to the Egyptian origin of prayer for the dead; this is unknown to Graeco-Roman paganism which prayed to the deified dead but never for the dead as such. The Church took this custom from the Synagogue, but the Jews themselves seem to have taken it from the Egyptians during the Hellenistic period, undoubtedly in the course of the second century (S. Reinach, Cultes, mythes, I, p. 325), just as they were indebted to the Egyptians for the idea of the "spring of life" (supra, n.  4_90). The formula in the Christian inscriptions cited,

ἀνάπαυσον τὴν ψυχὴν ἐν κόλποις Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Ἰσαάκ καὶ Ἰακώβ,

appears to indicate a transposition of the doctrine of identification with Osiris. In this way we can explain the persistence in the Christian formulary of expressions, like requies aeterna, corresponding to the most primitive pagan conceptions of the life of the dead, who were not to be disturbed in their graves.--A name for the grave, which appears frequently in Latin epitaphs, viz., domus aeterna (or aeternalis) is undoubtedly also of Egyptian importation. In Egypt, "la tombe est la maison du mort, sa maison d'étérnité, comme disent les textes" (Capart, Guide du musée de Bruxelles, 1905, p. 32). The Greeks were struck by this expression which appears in innumerable instances. Diodorus of Sicily (I, 51, §2) was aware that the Egyptians

τοὺς τῶν τετελευτηκότων τάφους ἀϊδίους οἵκους προσαγορεύουσιν, ὠς ἐν Ἅιδου διατελούντων τὸν ἅπειρον αἰῶνα (cf. I, 93, §1, εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον οἵκησιν).--

[paragraph continues] It is probable that this appellation of the tomb passed from Egypt into Palestine and Syria. It appears already in Ecclesiastes, xii. 7 (beth ’olam = "house of eternity"), and it is found in Syrian epigraphy (for instance in inscriptions of the third century (Comptes Rendus Acad. Inscr., 1906, p. 123), also in the epigraphy of Palmyra. (Chabot, Journal asiatique, 1900, p. 266, No. 47).--Possibly the hope for consolation, Εὐψύχει, οὐδεὶς ἀθάνατος, frequently found engraved upon tombs even in Latin countries was also derived from the Egyptian religion, but this is more doubtful. Εὐψύχει is found in the epitaphs of initiates in the Alexandrian mysteries. Kaibel, Inscr. gr., XIV, 1488, 1782 (Εὐψυχεῖ κυρία καὶ δοίη σοι ὁ Ὄσιρις τὸ ψυχρὸν ὕδωρ), 2098 (cf. supra, n.  4_90). Possibly the twofold meaning of

p. 241

[paragraph continues] εὕψυχοςwhich stands both for animosus and frigidus (see Dieterich, Nekyia, loc. cit.) has been played upon. But on the other hand, the idea contained in the formula "Be cheerful, nobody is immortal," also inspired the "Song of the Harpist," a canonical hymn that was sung in Egypt on the day of the funeral. It invited the listener to "make his heart glad" before the sadness of inevitable death (Maspero, Etudes égyptiennes, I, 1881, pp. 171 ff.; cf. Naville, op. cit., p. 170.

Next: V. Syria