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But the wiser of the priests call not only the Nile Osiris and the sea Typhon, but they simply give the name of Osiris to the whole source and faculty creative of moisture,1 believing this to be the cause of generation and the substance of life-producing seed ; and the name of Typhon they give to all that is dry, fiery, and arid,2 in general, and antagonistic to moisture. Therefore, because they believe that he was personally of a reddish sallow colour,3 they are not eager to meet men of such complexion, nor do they like to associate with them.

Osiris, on the other hand, according to their legendary tradition, was dark,4 because water darkens everything, earth and clothes and clouds, when it comes into contact with them.5 In young people the presence of moisture renders their hair black, while greyness, like a paleness as it were, is induced by [p. 83] dryness in those who are passing their prime.6 Also the spring-time is vigorous, prolific, and agreeable ; but the autumn, since it lacks moisture, is inimical to plants and unhealthful for living creatures.

The bull kept at Heliopolis which they call Mneuis,7 and which is sacred to Osiris (some hold it to be the sire of Apis), is black and has honours second only to Apis. Egypt, moreover, which has the blackest of soils,8 they call by the same name as the black portion of the eye, ‘Chemia,’ and compare it to a heart9; for it is warm and moist and is enclosed by the southern portions of the inhabited world and adjoins them, like the heart in a man's left side.

1 Cf. 365 b, infra.

2 Cf. 369 a and 376 f, infra.

3 Cf. 359 e and 363 b, supra.

4 Cf. 359 e, supra.

5 Cf. Moralia, 950 a.

6 Cf. Aristotle, De Generatione Animalium, v. 1 (780 b 6).

7 Cf. Diodorus, i. 21; Eusebius, Praepar. Evang. iii. 13. 1-3; Strabo, xvii. 1. 22; Aelian, De Natura Animalium, xi. 11.

8 Cf. Herodotus, ii. 12.

9 Horapollo, Hieroglyphica, i. 22.

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