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Then again, they depict Osiris by means of an eye and a sceptre,1 the one of which indicates forethought and the other power, much as Homer2 in [p. 125] calling the Lord and King of all ‘Zeus supreme and counsellor’ appears by ‘supreme’ to signify his prowess and by ‘counsellor’ his careful planning and thoughtfulness. They also often depict this god by means of a hawk ; for this bird is surpassing in the keenness of its vision and the swiftness of its flight, and is wont to support itself with the minimum amount of food. It is said also in flying over the earth to cast dust upon the eyes of unburied dead3; and whenever it settles down beside the river to drink it raises its feather upright, and after it has drunk it lets this sink down again, by which it is plain that the bird is safe and has escaped the crocodile,4 for if it be seized, the feather remains fixed upright as it was at the beginning.

Everywhere they point out statues of Osiris in human form of the ithyphallic type, on account of his creative and fostering power5; and they clothe his statues in a flame-coloured garment, since they regard the body of the Sun as a visible manifestation of the perceptible substance of the power for good.6 Therefore it is only right and fair to contemn those who assign the orb of the Sun to Typhon,7 to whom there attaches nothing bright or of a conserving nature, no order nor generation nor movement possessed of moderation or reason, but everything the reverse ; moreover, the drought,8 by which he destroys many of the living creatures and growing plants, is not to be set down as the work of the Sun, but rather as due to the fact that the winds and waters in the earth and the air are not seasonably tempered when [p. 127] the principle of the disorderly and unlimited power gets out of hand and quenches the exhalations.9

1 Cf. 354 f, supra.

2 Homer, Iliad, viii. 22.

3 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animalium, ii. 42, and Porphyry, De Abstinentia, iv. 9.

4 Ibid. x. 24.

5 Cf. 365 b, supra.

6 Cf. 393 d and 477 c, infra.

7 Cf. 372 e, infra.

8 Cf. 367 d, supra.

9 Cf. 369 a, supra.

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