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For there is no reason we should attend to the writings of the Phrygians, which say that one Charopos was daughter to Hercules, and that Typhon was son to Isaeacus, son of Hercules; no more than we have not to contemn Phylarchus, when he writes that Bacchus first brought two bullocks out of India into Egypt, and that the name of the one was Apis, and the other Osiris; but that Serapis is the name of him who orders the universe, from σαίρειν, which some use for beautifying and setting forth. For these sentiments of Phylarchus's are very foolish and absurd; but theirs are much more so who affirm Serapis to [p. 90] be no God at all, but only the name of the chest in which Apis lies; and that there are at Memphis certain great gates of copper, called the gates of oblivion and lamentation, which, being opened when they bury the Apis, make a doleful and hideous noise; which (say they) is the reason that, when we hear any sort of copper instrument sounding, we are presently startled and seized with fear. But they judge more discreetly who suppose his name to be derived from σεύεσθαι or σοῦσθαι (which signifies to be borne along) and so make it to mean, that the motion of the universe is hurried and borne along violently. But the greatest part of the priests do say that Osiris and Apis are both of them but one complex being, while they tell us in their sacred commentaries and sermons that we are to look upon the Apis as the beautiful image of the soul of Osiris. I, for my part, do believe that, if the name of Serapis be Egyptian, it may not improperly denote joy and merriment, because I find the Egyptians term the festival which we call merry-making in their language sairei. Besides, I find Plato to be of opinion, that Pluto is called Hades because he is the son of Αἰδώ (which is Modesty) and because he is a gentle God to such as are conversant with him. And as among the Egyptians there are a great many other names that are also definitions of the things they express, so they call that place whither they believe men's souls to go after death, Amenthes, which signifies in their language the receiver and the giver. But whether this be one of those names that have been anciently brought over and transplanted out of Greece into Egypt, we shall consider some other time; but at present we must hasten to despatch the remaining parts of the opinion here handled.

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