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Now the better and more divine nature consists of three; or of the intelligible part, of matter, and of that which is made up of both, which the Greeks call Cosmos (that is trimness) and we the world. Plato therefore uses to name the intelligible part the form, the sample, and the father; and matter the mother, the nurse, and the seat and receptacle of generation; and that again which is made up of both, the offspring and the production. And one would conjecture that the Egyptians called it the most perfect of triangles, because they likened the nature of the universe principally to that; which Plato also in his Commonwealth seems to have made use of to the same purpose, when he forms his nuptial diagram. Now in that triangle the perpendicular consists of three parts, the base of four, and the subtense of five, its square being equal in value [p. 116] with the squares of the two that contain it. We are therefore to take the perpendicular to represent the male property, the base the female, and the subtense that which is produced by them both. We are likewise to look upon Osiris as the first cause, Isis as the faculty of reception, and Horus as the effect. For the number three is the first odd and perfect number, and the number four is a square, having for its side the even number two. The number five also in some respects resembles the father and in some again the mother, being made up of three and two; besides, πάντα (all things) seems to be derived from πέντε (five) and they use πεμπάσασθαι (which is telling five) for counting.1 Moreover, the number five makes a square equal to the number of letters used among the Egyptians, as also to the number of years which Apis lived. They are also used to call Horus Min, which signifieth as much as seen; for the world is perceptible to sense and visible. And Isis they sometimes call Muth, and sometimes again Athyri, and sometimes Methyer. And by the first of these names they mean mother, by the second Horus's mundane house (as Plato calls it, the place and receptacle of generation); but the third is compounded of two words, the one whereof signifies full, and the other the cause; for the matter of the world is full, and it is closely joined with the good and pure and well ordered principle.

1 See the preceding essay, § 86.

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