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Hieroglyphics of Horapollo, tr. Alexander Turner Cory, [1840], at



To signify the rising of the Nile, which they call in the

p. 42

[paragraph continues] Egyptian language NOUN, and which, when interpreted, signifies New, they sometimes pourtray a LION, and sometimes THREE LARGE WATERPOTS, and at other times HEAVEN AND EARTH GUSHING FORTH WITH WATER. And they depict a LION, because when the sun is in Leo it augments the rising of the Nile, so that oftentimes while the sun remains in that sign of the zodiac, half of the new water [Noun, the entire inundation?] is supplied; and hence it is, that those who anciently presided over the sacred works, have made the spouts [?] and passages of the sacred fountains in the form of lions. 1

p. 43

[paragraph continues] Wherefore, even to this day in prayer for an abundant inundation - - - - - - - - - And they depict THREE WATERPOTS, or HEAVEN AND EARTH GUSHING FORTH WITH WATER, because they make a waterpot like a heart having a tongue,—like a heart, because in their opinion the heart is the ruling member of the body, as the Nile is the ruler of Egypt, and like [a heart with?] a tongue, because it is always in a state of humidity, and they call it the producer of existence. And they depict three waterpots, and neither more nor less, because according to them there is a triple cause of the inundation. And they depict one for the Egyptian soil, as being of itself productive of water; and another for the ocean, for at the period of the inundation,

p. 44

water flows up from it into Egypt; and the third to symbolise the rains which prevail in the southern parts of Ethiopia at the time of the rising of the Nile. Now that Egypt generates the water, we may deduce from this, that in the rest of the earth the inundations of the rivers take place in the winter, and are caused by frequent rains; but the country of the Egyptians alone, inasmuch as it is situated in the middle of the habitable world, like that part of the eye, which is called the pupil, of itself causes the rising of the Nile in summer.



I. The Inundation.

II. Lord of the waters of the Nile, a title of Kneph.—Sh. 781.

III. A figure from a tomb at Thebes; the symbols of heaven and earth, with drops distilling between them.

IV. The sign of the month, of the inundationNoun.

42:1 The Lion's head is commonly used as a waterspout in the temples of Egypt.

Next: XXII. How They Designate Egypt