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For nothing hath been ranked among their sacred and religious rites that savored of folly, romance, or superstition, as some do suppose; but some of them were such as contained some signification of morality and utility, and others such as were not without a fineness either in history or natural philosophy. As, for instance, in what refers to the onions; for that Dictys, the foster-father of Isis, as he was reaching at a handful of onions, fell into the river and was there drowned, is extremely improbable. But the true reason why the priests abhor, detest, and avoid the onion is because it is the only plant whose nature [p. 71] it is to grow and spread forth in the wane of the moon. Besides, it is no proper food, either for such as would practise abstinence and use purgations, or for such as would observe the festivals; for the former, because it causeth thirst, and for the latter, because it forceth tears from those that eat it. They likewise esteem the swine as an unhallowed animal, because it is observed to be most apt to engender in the wane of the moon, and because that such as drink its milk have a leprosy and scabbed roughness in their bodies. But the story which they that sacrifice a swine at every full moon are wont to subjoin after their eating of it,—how that Typhon, being once about the full of the moon in pursuit of a certain swine, found by chance the wooden chest wherein lay the body of Osiris, and scattered it,—is not received by all, but looked upon as a misrepresented story, as a great many more such are. They tell us moreover, that the ancients did so much despise delicacy, sumptuousness, and a soft and effeminate way of living, that they erected a pillar in the temple at Thebes, having engraven upon it several grievous curses against King Meinis, who (as they tell us) was the first that brought off the Egyptians from a mean, wealthless, and simple way of living. There goes also another story, how that Technatis, father to Bocchoris, commanding an army against the Arabians, and his baggage and provisions not coming in as soon as was expected, heartily fed upon such things as he could next light on, and afterwards had a sound sleep upon a pallet, whereupon he fell greatly in love with a poor and mean life; and for this reason he cursed Meinis, and that with the consent of all the priests, and carved that curse upon a pillar.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
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