previous next
Many things like these are narrated and pointed out, and if there be some wrho think that in these are commemorated the dire and momentous acts and experiences of kings and despots who, by reason of their pre-eminent virtue or might, laid claim to the glory of being styled gods, and later had to submit to the vagaries of fortune,1 then these persons employ the easiest means of escape from the narrative, and not ineptly do they transfer the disrepute from the gods to men; and in this they have the support of the common traditions. The Egyptians, in fact, have a tradition that Hermes had thin arms and big elbows, that Typhon was red in complexion, Horus white, and Osiris dark,2 as if they had been in their nature but mortal men. Moreover, they give to Osiris the title of general, and the title of pilot to Canopus, from whom they say that the star derives its name ; also that the vessel which the Greeks call Argo, in form like the ship of Osiris, has been set among the constellations in his honour, and its course lies not far from that of Orion and the Dog-star ; of these the Egyptians believe that one is sacred to Horus and the other to Isis.

1 That is, to die, and thus to lose their claim to divinity; cf. 360 b, infra. This is common Euhemeristic doctrine.

2 Cf. 363 a and 364 b, infra.

load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus English (Goodwin, 1874)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: