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The kings were appointed from the priests or from the military class, since the military class had eminence and honour because of valour, and the priests because of wisdom. But he who was appointed from the military class was at once made one of the priests and a participant in their philosophy, which, for the most part, is veiled in myths and in words containing dim reflexions and adumbrations of the truth, as they themselves intimate beyond question by appropriately placing sphinxes1 before their [p. 25] shrines to indicate that their religious teaching has in it an enigmatical sort of wisdom. In Saïs the statue of Athena, whom they believe to be Isis, bore the inscription : ‘I am all that has been, and is, and shall be, and my robe no mortal has yet uncovered.’

Moreover, most people believe that Amoun is the name given to Zeus in the land of the Egyptians,2 a name which we, with a slight alteration, pronounce Ammon. But Manetho of Sebennytus thinks that the meaning ‘concealed’ or ‘concealment’ lies in this word. Hecataeus3 of Abdera, however, says that the Egyptians use this expression one to another whenever they call to anyone, for the word is a form of address. When they, therefore, address the supreme god, whom they believe to be the same as the Universe, as if he were invisible and concealed, and implore him to make himself visible and manifest to them, they use the word ‘Amoun’; so great, then, was the circumspection of the Egyptians in their wisdom touching all that had to do wTith the gods.

1 Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, v. 5. 31, chap. 5 (p. 664 Potter).

2 Cf. Herodotus, ii. 42.

3 Cf. Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, Hecataeus (60), No. B, 8.

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