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For that the Gods, being afraid of Typhon, changed themselves into these animals, and did as it were hide themselves in the bodies of ibises, dogs, and hawks, is a foolery beyond all prodigiousness and legend. And that such souls of men departed this life as remain undissolved after death have leave to be reborn into this life by these bodies only, is equally incredible. And of those who would assign some political reason for these things, there are some that affirm that Osiris in his great army, dividing his forces into many parts (which we in Greek call λόχοι and τάξεις), at the same time gave every of them certain ensigns or colors with the shapes of several animals upon them, which in process of time came to be looked upon as sacred, and to be worshipped by the several kindred and clans in that distribution. Others say again, that the kings of after times did, for the greater terror of their enemies, wear about them in their battles the golden and silver heads and upper parts of fierce animals. But there are others that relate that one of these subtle and crafty princes, observing the Egyptians to be of a light and vain disposition and very inclinable to change and innovation, and withal, when sober and unanimous, of an inexpugnable and irrestrainable strength by reason of their mighty numbers, therefore taught them, in their several quarters, a perpetual kind of superstition, to be the ground of endless quarrels and disputes among them. For the various animals which he commanded different cities to observe [p. 130] and reverence being at enmity and war with one another, and desiring one another for food, each party among them being upon the perpetual defence of their proper animals, and highly resenting the wrongs that were offered them, it happened that, being thus drawn into the quarrels of their beasts, they were, before they were aware, engaged in hostilities with one another. For at this very day, the Lycopolitans (or Wolf-town-men) are the only people among the Egyptians that eat the sheep, because the wolf, which they esteem to be a God, doth so too. And in our own times, the Oxyrynchites (or those of Pike-town), because the Cynopolitans (or those of Dog-town) did eat a pike, catched the dogs and slew them, and ate of them as they would do of a sacrifice; and there arising a civil war upon it, in which they did much mischief to one another, they were all at last chastised by the Romans.

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