), the Egyptian god of the sun, whose worship was established very extensively in Greece, and afterwards even at Rome, although Greek astronomy and mystic philosophy greatly modified the original idea of Horus.
He was compared with the Greek Apollo, and identified with Harpocrates, the last-born and weakly son of Osiris. (Plut. de Is. et Os.
19.) Both were represented as youths, and with the same attributes and symbols. (Artemid. Oneir.
2.36; Macr. 1.23
; Porphyr. apud Euseb. Praep. Exang.
5.10; Iamblich. de Myster.
He was believed to have been born with his finger on his mouth, as indicative of secrecy and mystery; and the idea of something mysterious in general was connected with the worship of Horus-Harpocrates; the mystic philosophers of later times therefore found in him a most welcome subject to speculate upon.
In the earlier period of his worship at Rome he seems to have been particularly regarded as the god of quiet life and silence (Varr. (Varr. de L. L.
iv. p. 17, Bip. ; Ov. Met. 9.691
; Auson. Epist. ad Paul.
25.27), and at one time the senate forbade his worship at Rome, probably on account of excesses committed at the mysterious festivals; but the suppression was not permanent. His identification with Apollo is as old as the time of Herodotus (2.144
; comp. the detailed mythuses in Diod. 1.25
, &c.; Plut. de Is. et Os.
The god acts a prominent part also in the mystic works attributed Hermes Trismegistus; but we cannot enter here into an examination of the nature of this Egyptian divinity, and refer the reader to Jablonsky, Panth. Acgypt.
i. p. 244. &c.; Bunsen, Aegyptens Stelle in der Weltgesch.
vol. i. p. 505, &c., and other works on Egyptian mythology.