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Eudoxus says that, while many tombs of Osiris are spoken of in Egypt, his body lies in Busiris; for this was the place of his birth; moreover, Taphosiris1 requires no comment, for the name itself means ‘the tomb of Osiris.’ I pass over the cutting of wood,2 the rending of linen, and the libations that are offered, for the reason that many of their secret rites are involved therein. In regard not only to these gods, but in regard to the other gods, save only those whose existence had no beginning and shall have no end, the priests say that their bodies, after they have done with their labours, have been placed in the keeping of the priests and are cherished there, but that their souls shine as the stars in the firmament, and the soul of Isis is called by the Greeks the Dog-star, but by the Egyptians Sothis,3 and the soul of Horus is called Orion, and the soul of Typhon the Bear. Also they say that all the other Egyptians pay the agreed assessment for the entombment of the [p. 55] animals held in honour,4 but that the inhabitants of the Theban territory only do not contribute because they believe in no mortal god, but only in the god whom they call Kneph, whose existence had no beginning and shall have no end.

1 Cf. Strabo, xvii. 1. 14 (pp. 799 and 800). Tradition varies between Taphosiris and Taposiris, and there may be no ‘tomb’ in the word at all.

2 Cf. 368 a, infra.

3 Cf. Moralia, 974 f.

4 Cf. Diodorus, i. 84, ad fin., for the great expense often involved.

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