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But Isis again recovering Osiris, and rearing up Horus, made strong by exhalations, mists, and clouds, Typhon was indeed reduced, but not executed; for the Goddess who is sovereign over the earth would not suffer the opposite nature to wet to be utterly extinguished, but loosed it and let it go, being desirous the mixture should continue. For it would be impossible for the world to be complete and perfect, if the property of fire should fail and be wanting. And as these things are not spoken by them without a considerable show of reason, so neither have we reason wholly to contemn this other account which they give us; which is, that Typhon in the more ancient [p. 101] times was master of Osiris's portion. For (say they) Egypt was once all sea. For which reason it is found at this day to have abundance of fish-shells, both in its mines and on its mountains. And besides that, all the springs and wells (which in that country are extreme numerous) have in them a salt and brackish water, as if some remainder of the ancient sea had run thither, to be laid up in store. But in process of time, Horus got the upper hand of Typhon; that is, there happened such an opportunity of sudden and tempestuous showers of rain, that the Nile pushed the sea out, and discovered the champaign land, and afterwards filled it up with continual profusions of mud; all which hath the testimony of sense to confirm it. For we see at this day that, as the river drives down fresh mud and lays new earth unto the old, the sea by degrees gives back and the salt water runs off, as the parts in the bottom gain height by new accessions of mud. We see, moreover, that the Pharos, which Homer observed in his time to be a whole day's sail from Egypt, is now a part of it; not because it changed its place or came nearer the shore than before, but because, the river still adding to and increasing the main land, the intermediate sea was obliged to retire.

To speak the truth, these things are not far unlike the explications which the Stoics used to give of the Gods. For they also say that the generative and nutritive property of the air is called Bacchus; the striking and dividing property, Hercules; the receptive property, Ammon; that which passes through the earth and fruits, Ceres and Proserpine; and that which passes through the sea, Neptune.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
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