This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
But the Egyptians, by combining with these physical explanations some of the scientific results derived from astronomy, think that by Typhon is meant the solar world, and by Osiris the lunar world ; they reason that the moon, because it has a light that is generative and productive of moisture,1 is kindly towards the young of animals and the burgeoning plants, whereas the sun, by its untempered and pitiless heat, makes all growing and flourishing vegetation hot and parched, and, through its blazing light, renders a large part of the earth uninhabitable, and in many a region overpowers the moon. For this reason the Egyptians regularly call Typhon ‘Seth,’ 2 which, being interpreted, means ‘overmastering and compelling.’ They have a legend that Heracles, making his dwelling in the sun, is a companion for it in its revolutions, as is the case also with Hermes and the moon. In fact, the actions of the moon are like actions of reason and perfect wisdom, whereas those of the sun are like beatings administered through violence and brute strength. The Stoics3 assert that the sun is kindled and fed from the sea, but that for the moon the moving waters from the springs and lakes send up a sweet and mild exhalation.