XXXIII, XXXIV

[§§ XXXIII., XXXIV. Some of the more philosophical priests assert that Osiris does not symbolize the Nile only, nor Typhon the sea only, but that Osiris represents the principle and power of moisture in general, and that Typhon represents everything which is scorching, burning, and fiery, and whatever destroys moisture. Osiris they believe to have been of a black 2 colour, because water gives a black 2 tinge to everything with which it is mixed. The Mnevis Bull 3 kept at Heliopolis is, like Osiris, black in colour, "and even Egypt 4 itself, by reason of the

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extreme blackness of the soil, is called by them 'Chemia,' the very name which is given to the black part or pupil of the eye. 1 It is, moreover, represented by them under the figure of a human heart." The Sun and Moon are not represented as being drawn about in chariots, but as sailing round the world in ships, which shows that they owe their motion, support, and nourishment to the power of humidity. 2 Homer and Thales both learned from Egypt that "water was the first principle of all things, and the cause of generation." 3]


Footnotes

241:1 Each of these signs, , except the last, does mean what Plutarch says it means, but his method of reading them together is wrong, and it proves that he did not understand that hieroglyphics were used alphabetically as well as ideographically.

241:2 Experiments recently conducted by Lord Rayleigh indicate that the true colour of water is blue.

241:3 In Egyptian, Nem-ur, or Men-ur, and he was "called the life of Ra."

241:4 The commonest name of Egypt is KEMT, "black land," as opposed to the reddish-yellow sandy deserts on each side of the "valley of black mud." The word for "black" is kam.






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