Sarapis under the Early Ptolemies by John E. Stambaugh

By John E. Stambaugh

Even though in line with a doctoral dissertation, this paintings is agreeably concise, and the floor lined contains the Hellenistic iconography of Sarapis, the relation of the god to Pluto, Osiris, Dionysus, the Apis Bull, Apis the King, and Asclepius, in addition to later Hellenistic equations.

A stable element is made within the advent concerning the antecedents of the cult. Wilcken's concept, which derives Sarapis from the Egyptian Osiris-Apis, is usually authorised, and but it really is excellent what number students nonetheless check with the worship of Sarapis as anything which concerned the production of a brand new god and a brand new cult. Mr. Stambaugh properly distinguishes among the god and his photo, and the recent improvement after all attaches to the shape and set up of the picture. The types used at Alexandria and Memphis are additional amazing, and a case is made for the concept the previous 'emphasized the kingly nature of the god, whereas the single at Memphis emphasised the fruitful advantages of a chthonic god.'

In view of the legitimate basic procedure it truly is remarkable that extra consciousness isn't given to the Egyptian antecedents. there's a bankruptcy on 'Sarapis and Osiris', yet this is often the least passable within the publication, living a lot because it does at the outdated concept that Osiris was once in starting place a mortal king. nevertheless, the ebook succeeds in upholding the prospect that the Hellenized shape 'Sarapis' originated within the later a part of Alexander's life.

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Any cult statue of Sarapis at Canopus in the late fourth century might well be influenced by the Alexandrian iconography, if that statue should be dated early in the reign of Ptolemy I; if it belongs late in his reign, Heraclides may have been the first to articulate the connection with Pluto. It is even possible that he was thinking of a statue of Pluto which he had seen at Sinope; if so, the Alexandrian image made after Heraclides' death may in fact derive from Sinope. In dealing with a period as poorly documented in general as the early Hellenistic age is, it is dangerous to emphasize an argument from silence.

However, during the reign of Ptolemy I there was not necessarily any clear connection between the Museum of which Demetrius was a member and the Great Serapeum of Alexandria. Demetrius wrote hymns in honor of Sarapis, but that hardly implies that he was hostile to the cult at Memphis. Third, it is not perfectly clear that the philosopher really is Demetrius. However, no other candidate has been proposed who could be juxtaposed with Sarapis as satisfactorily as Demetrius. Fourth, even if it is Demetrius, the date may be later than Ptolemy I, since any of his successors (except Ptolemy II) may well have included Demetrius, as the founder of the Library and Museum, in a group of poets and scholars.

Weber, Drei Untersuchungen zur Aegyptisch-griechischen Religion (Heidelberg, 19II), pp. 6-8, stressed the existence of a temple of Isis and Osiris at Rhacotis before Alexander. It may even have been a shrine of the Memphis bull-god Osiris-Apis, but only general probability and wishful thinking, rather than evidence, prompt the suggestion. 2I, 33, 5 : 1\ 8V'1jT~ q:nJCHC; ouX e:i'ipe:v &'7tlxyye:rAon, a phrase appearing only in MS A. 3 U. 4: Meisenheim am Glan, 1962), p. II4, lines 8-9. ve8'1jxe:vW.

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