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Here follows the story related in the briefest possible words with the omission of everything that is merely unprofitable or superfluous :

They say that the Sun, when lie became aware of Rhea's intercourse with Cronus,1 invoked a curse upon her that she should not give birth to a child in any month or any year ; but Hermes, being enamoured of the goddess, consorted with her. Later, playing at draughts with the moon, he won from her the seventieth part of each of her periods of illumination,2 and from all the winnings he composed five days, and intercalated them as an addition to the three hundred and sixty days. The Egyptians even now call these five days intercalated3 and celebrate them as the birthdays of the gods. They relate that on the first [p. 33] of these days Osiris was born, and at the hour of his birth a voice issued forth saying, ‘The Lord of All advances to the light.’ But some relate that a certain Pamyles,4 while he was drawing water in Thebes, heard a voice issuing from the shrine of Zeus, which bade him proclaim with a loud voice that a mighty and beneficent king, Osiris, had been born ; and for this Cronus entrusted to him the child Osiris, which he brought up. It is in his honour that the festival of Pamylia is celebrated, a festival which resembles the phallic processions. On the second of these days Ar ueris was born whom they call Apollo, and some call him also the elder Horus. On the third day Typhon was born, but not in due season or manner, but with a blow he broke through his mother s side and leapt forth. On the fourth day Isis was born in the regions that are ever moist5; and on the fifth Nephthys, to whom they give the name of Finality6 and the name of Aphroditê, and some also the name of Victory. There is also a tradition that Osiris and Arueris were sprung from the Sun, Isis from Hermes,7 and Typhon and Nephthys from Cronus. For this reason the kings considered the third of the intercalated days as inauspicious, and transacted no business on that day, nor did they give any attention to their bodies until nightfall. They relate, moreover, that Nephthys became the wife of Typhon8; but Isis and Osiris were enamoured of each other9 and consorted together in [p. 35] the darkness of the womb before their birth. Some say that Arueris came from this union and was called the elder Horus by the Egyptians, but Apollo by the Greeks.

1 Cf. Moralia, 429 f; Diodorus, i. 13. 4; Eusebius, Praeparatio Evang. ii. 1. 1-32.

2 Plutarch evidently does not reckon the ἕνη καὶ νέα (the day when the old moon changed to the new) as a period of illumination, since the light given by the moon at that time is practically negligible. An intimation of this is given in his Life of Solon, chap. xxv. (92 c). Cf. also Plato, Cratylus, 409 b, and the scholium on Aristophanes' Clouds, 1186. One seventieth of 12 lunar months of 29 days each (348 days) is very nearly five days.

3 Cf. Herodotus, ii. 4.

4 What is known about Pamyles (or Paamyles or Pammyles), a Priapean god of the Egyptians, may be found in Kock, Com. Att. Frag. ii. p. 289. Cf. also 365 b, infra.

5 The meaning is doubtful, but Isis as the goddess of vegetation, of the Nile, and of the sea, might very naturally be associated with moisture.

6 Cf. 366 b and 375 b, infra.

7 Cf. 352 a, supra.

8 Cf. 375 b, infra.

9 Cf. 373 b, infra.

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