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Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer) 2 0 Browse Search
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Apollodorus, Library (ed. Sir James George Frazer), book 1 (search)
takes of food, he cannot return to the land of the living. Thus, the ancient Egyptians believed that, on his way to the spirit land, the soul of a dead person was met by a goddess (Hathor, Nouit, or Nit), who offered him fruits, bread, and water, and that, if he accepted them, he could return to earth no more. See G. Maspero, Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de l'Orient Classiques, les Origines (Paris, 1895), p. 184. Similarly, the natives of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, say that when a man dies, messengers come from the other world to guide his soul through the air and over the sea to the spirit land. Arrived there, he is welcomed by the other souls and bidden to a banquet, where he is offered food, especially bananas. If he tastes them, his doom is fixed for ever: he cannot return to earth. See the missionary Gagniere, in Annales de la Propagation de la Foi, xxxii. (Lyons, 1860