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 Memphis itself also, the residence of the kings of Egypt, is near, being only three schœni distant from the Delta. It contains temples, among which is that of Apis, who is the same as Osiris. Here the ox Apis is kept in a sort of sanctuary, and is held, as I have said, to be a god. The forehead and some other small parts of its body are white; the other parts are black. By these marks the fitness of the successor is always determined, when the animal to which they pay these honours dies. In front of the sanctuary is a court, in which there is another sanctuary for the dam of Apis. . Into this court the Apis is let loose at times, particularly for the purpose of exhibiting him to strangers. He is seen through a door in the sanctuary, and he is permitted to be seen also out of it. After he has frisked about a little in the court, he is taken back to his own stall. The temple of Apis is near the Hephæsteium (or temple of Vulcan); the Hephæsteium1 itself is very sumptuously constructed, both as regards the size of the naos and in other respects. In front of the Dromos is a colossal figure consisting of a single stone. It is usual to celebrate bull-fights in this Dromos; the bulls are bred expressly for this purpose, like horses. They are let loose, and fight with one another, the conqueror receiving a prize. At Memphis also there is a temple of Venus, who is accounted a Grecian deity. But some say that it is a temple dedicated to Selene, or the moon.2
1 ‘Sesoosis (Sesostris) raised two obelisks of hard stone, 120 cubits in height, on which were inscribed the greatness of his power, the amount of his revenue, and the number of the nations which he had conquered. At Memphis, in the temple of Vulcan, he erected monolithe images of himself and his wife, 30 cubits in height, and images of his sons, 20 cubits in height,’ in memory of his escape from fire when his brother Armais attempted to burn him with his wife and children. Diod. Sic. i. 57.
2 Probably the statue of Venus bore a crescent on the forehead.
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