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[§ XXXVI., The Nile and all kinds of moisture are called the "efflux of Osiris." Therefore a water-pitcher 4 is always carried first in his processions, and the leaf of a fir-tree represents both Osiris and Egypt. 5 Osiris is

p. 243

the great principle of fecundity, which is proved by the Pamylia festivals, in which a statue of the god with a triple phallus is carried about. 1 The three-fold phallus merely signifies any great and indefinite number.]


242:1 Plutarch seems to have erred here. The early texts call the pupil of the eye "the child in the eye," as did the Semitic peoples (see my Liturgy of Funerary Offerings, p. 136). The Copts spoke of the "black of the eye," derived from the hieroglyphic "darkness," "blackness."

242:2 There is no support for this view in the texts.

242:3 It was a very common belief in Egypt that all things arose from the great celestial ocean called Nu, whence came the Nile.

242:4 Plutarch refers to the vessel of water, with which the priest sprinkles the ground to purify it.

242:5 He seems to refer here to the olive-tree: Beqet, "olive land," was one of the names of Egypt.

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