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For this reason they assign to him the most stupid of the domesticated animals, the ass, and of the wild animals, the most savage, the crocodile and the hippopotamus.

In regard to the ass we have already1 offered some explanation. At Hermopolis they point out a statue of Typhon in the form of an hippopotamus, on whose back is poised a hawk fighting with a serpent. By the hippopotamus they mean to indicate Typhon, and by the hawk a power and rule, which Typhon strives to win by force, oftentimes without success, being confused by his wickedness and creating confusion2 For this reason, when they offer sacrifice on the seventh day of the month Tybi, which they call the ‘Coming of Isis from Phoenicia,’ they imprint on their sacred cakes the image of an hippopotamus tied fast. In the town of Apollonopolis it is an established custom for every person without exception to eat, of a crocodile3; and on one day they hunt as many as they can and, after killing them, cast them down directly opposite the temple. And they relate that Typhon escaped Horus by turning into a crocodile, and they would make out that all animals and plants and incidents that are bad and harmful are the deeds and parts and movements of Typhon.

1 Supra, 362 f.

2 The text and significance of this passage are none too clear.

3 Cf. Herodotus, ii. 69; Aelian, De Natura Animalium, x. 21; Strabo, xvii. 1. 47 (p. 817).

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