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The first to learn of the deed and to bring to men's knowledge an account of what had been done were the Pans and Satyrs who lived in the region around Chemmis,1 and so, even to this day, the sudden confusion and consternation of a crowd is called a panic.2 Isis, when the tidings reached her, at once cut off one of her tresses and put on a garment of mourning in a place where the city still bears the name of Kopto.3 Others think that the name means deprivation, for they also express ‘deprive’ by means of ‘koptein.’ 4 But Isis wandered everywhere at her wits' end ; no one whom she approached did she fail to address, and even when she met some little children she asked them about the chest. As it [p. 39] happened, they had seen it, and they told her the mouth of the river through which the friends of Typhon had launched the coffin into the sea. Wherefore the Egyptians think that little children possess the power of prophecy,5 and they try to divine the future from the portents which they find in children's words, especially when children are playing about in holy places and crying out whatever chances to come into their minds.

They relate also that Isis, learning that Osiris in his love had consorted with her sister6 through ignorance, in the belief that she was Isis, and seeing the proof of this in the garland of melilote which he had left with Nephthys, sought to find the child ; for the mother, immediately after its birth, had exposed it because of her fear of Typhon. And when the child had been found, after great toil and trouble, with the help of dogs which led Isis to it, it was brought up and became her guardian and attendant, receiving the name of Anubis, and it is said to protect the gods just as dogs protect men.7

1 Cf. Herodotus, ii. 91 and 156, and Diodorus, i. 18. 2.

2 Cf. E. Harrison, Classical Review, vol. xl. pp. 6 ff.

3 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animalium, x. 23.

4 The word kopto, ‘strike,’ ‘cut,’ is used in the middle voice in the derived meaning ‘mourn’ (i.e. to beat oneself as a sign of mourning). Occasionally the active voice also means ‘cut off,’ and from this use Plutarch derives the meaning ‘deprive.’

5 Cf. Dio Chrysostom, Oratio xxxii. p. 364 d (660 Reiske), and Aelian, De Natura Animalium, xi. 10, ad fin.

6 Nephthys; cf. 366 b, 368 e, and 375 b, infra.

7 Cf. Diodorus, i. 87. 2.

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