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The sistrum likewise (or rattle) doth intimate unto us, that all things ought to be agitated and shook (σείεσθαι), and not to be suffered to rest from their motion, but be as it were roused up and awakened when they begin to grow drowsy and to droop. For they tell us that the sistrum averts and frights away Typhon, insinuating hereby that, as corruption locks up and fixes Nature's course, so generation again resolves and excites it by means of motion. Moreover, as the sistrum hath its upper part convex, so its circumference contains the four things that are shaken; for that part of the world also which is liable to generation and corruption is contained by the sphere of the moon, but all things are moved and changed in it by means of [p. 122] the four elements, fire, earth, water, and air. And upon the upper part of the circumference of the sistrum, on the outside, they set the effigies of a cat carved with a human face; and again, on the under part, below the four jingling things, they set on one side the face of Isis, and on the other the face of Nephthys; symbolically representing by these two faces generation and death (for these are changes and alterations of the elements), and by the cat representing the moon, because of the different colors, the night-motion and the great fecundity of this animal. For they say that she brings forth first one, then two, and three, and four, and five, and so adds one until she comes to seven; so that she brings eight and twenty in all, which are as many as there are days in each moon; but this looks more like a romance. This is certain, that the pupils of her eyes are observed to fill up and grow large upon the full of the moon, and again, to grow less upon its de crease. And the human face of the cat shows how the changes of the moon are governed by mind and reason.

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