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ILITHYIA (Εἰλειθυίας πόλις, Strab. xviii. p.817; Εἰληθυίας, Ptol. 4.5.73), a town of the Egyptian Heptanomis, 30 miles NE. of Apollinopolis Magna. It was situated on the eastern bank of the Nile, in lat. 25° 3′ N. According to Plutarch (Isis et Osir. 100.73), Ilithyia contained a temple dedicated to Bubastis, to whom, as to the Taurian Artemis, human victims were, even at a comparatively recent period, sacrificed. A bas-relief (Minutoi, p. 394, seq.) discovered in the temple of Bubastis at ElKab, representing such a sacrifice, seems to confirm Plutarch's statement. The practice of human sacrifice among the Aegyptians is, indeed, called in question by Herodotus (2.45); yet that it once prevailed among them is rendered probable by Manetho‘s statement of a king named Amosis having abolished the custom,and substituted a waxen image for the human victim. (Porphyr. de Abstinent. ii. p. 223; Euseb. Praep. Evang. 4.16; comp. Ovid, Ov. Fast. 5.621.) The singularity in Plutarch's story is the recent date of the imputed sacrifices.


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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 2.45
    • Ovid, Fasti, 5
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 4.5
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