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Chapter 13: The Worship of the Sun Among the Non-Aryan Peoples of Antiquity

§ 1. The Worship of the Sun among the Ancient Babylonians and Assyrians

The worship of the Sun (Shamash) in Babylonia.

The two great seats of Sun-worship at Larsa and Sippar.

IN ancient Babylonia the Sun was worshipped from immemorial antiquity. The ideogram of the Sun, like that of the moon, in the Babylonian language is always preceded by a determinative which implies divinity.1 The Semitic name both of the Sun and of the Sun-god in Babylonia is Shamash; the Sumerian name is Utu or Babbar;2 for even before the Semites settled in the country the Sun-god was worshipped by their predecessors the Sumerians. The two great seats of Sun-worship were Larsa in the south and Sippar in the north of Babylonia. The site of Larsa is now marked by the mounds called Senkereh; the site of Sippar, to the north of Babylon and to the south-west of Bagdad, is now occupied by the ruins of Abu Habba. In both cities the Sun-god was worshipped by the Sumerians, and in both his temple was called E-babbar or E-babbara, that is, “the House of the Sun”.3 In Babylonia the Sun-god Shamash is always masculine, but in south Arabia his namesake Shams is feminine.4 The great temple of the Sun-god at Sippar, with its tower rising in stages, occupied a terrace 1300 feet square on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, just south of the Royal Canal.5

Popularity of the worship of the Sun-god Shamash.

Inferiority of Shamash to the great gods of the pantheon.

Shamash a son of the Moon-god Sin.

Ai, the wife of the Sun-god.

There was no deity of the pantheon whose worship enjoyed an equally continued popularity from the earliest to the latest time both in Babylonia and Assyria. And through all that long period Shamash, Utu, or Babbar, retained the character of a solar god with scarcely any modification.6 Yet, singularly enough, he did not rank with the greatest gods. He was not one of the supreme trinity, which comprised Anu, the god of heaven, Bel, the god of earth and of mankind, and Ea, the god of the abyss of water under the earth. He may be said to have formed part of an inferior trinity, which included himself, and Sin, the god of the moon, and Ramman or Adad, the god of the atmosphere.7 But even in this subordinate trinity the Sun-god Shamash was not the foremost. He was deemed a son of the Moon-god Sin. One of the early rulers of Ur calls the Sun-god the offspring of Nannar, which is one of the names of the Moon-god; and Nabonidus, the last native king of Babylonia, assigns to him the same father, so that from first to last the Sun-god ranked below the Moon-god in dignity. His inferiority was marked in other ways. In the list of gods drawn up by Babylonian and Assyrian kings and preserved for us in inscriptions, the Sun-god is always mentioned after the Moon-god; and the number assigned to him is only twenty, whereas the number of his father the Moon-god is thirty. Indeed, his very name is said to signify “attendant”, or “servitor”. This subordination of Sun-worship to Moon-worship is an interesting peculiarity of early Babylonian religion, in which, if we may say so, the sun seems to have been always eclipsed by the lesser luminary. However, at a later period, when the system of mythology was more fully developed, the solar deity to some extent emerged from the cloud, or rather from the shadow of the moon, which had so long obscured his radiance.8 Agumkakrime, one of the Cassite kings of Babylonia, in the second millennium before our era, even speaks of Shamash as “the Lord of Heaven and Earth”;9 and in an Assyrian inscription Shamash is repeatedly described as “chief of the gods”.10 Nevertheless, the Sun-god never played an important part in mythology.11 With him was associated, especially at Sippar, his wife Aya, Aia, Ai, or Aa, whose name appears to mean “bride”. She is often coupled with him in incantations, but seldom appears in historical texts.12 In Sumerian she is also called Shenirda.13 The Sun-god was blessed with a numerous progeny, including a son Kettu, whose name signifies Justice; another son, Mesharu, whose name means Right; another son, Sumuqan, the God of Meadows; a daughter, the Goddess of Dreams; and several other deities who presided over cattle and fields.14

The chariot of the Sun-god.

Originally the Sun-god made his way painfully across the sky on foot, but in later times, with the progress of civilization, a chariot was considerately placed at his disposal with a charioteer named Bunene to drive him; the car was drawn by two fiery steeds or mules.15 Thus the god was enabled to accomplish the long journey in tolerable comfort.

Representations of the Sun-god in art.

The solar disk.

The Sun-god was represented as an old man with a long beard, and often with sunbeams radiating from his shoulders. Sometimes he is seen sitting on a throne; in Assyrian art he is occasionally represented standing on a horse. In Babylonia his special emblem is a round disk with a four-pointed star within it and beams or flames flickering between the points of the star. On Assyrian monuments the disk is fitted with long wings, so that it presents a striking resemblance to the winged disk of the Sun in Egyptian art.16

The gates of heaven.

In the solid dome of heaven there were thought to be two gates, one in the east and the other in the west, for the use of Shamash, the Sun-god, in his daily passage across the world. Coming from behind the dome of heaven, he passed through the eastern gate, and stepping out upon the Mountain of the Sunrise at the edge of the world, he began his journey across the sky. In the evening he came to the Mountain of the Sunset, and, stepping upon it, he passed through the western gate of heaven and disappeared from the sight of men. On a cylinder-seal he is represented standing in the eastern gate of heaven with one foot planted on the Mountain of the Sunrise.17

Hymns to Shamash, the Sun-god.

In the following hymn addressed to the Rising Sun, the god is described entering the world through the eastern gate of heaven:

O Shamash, on the foundation of heaven thou hast flamed forth.

Thou hast unbarred the bright heavens,

Thou hast opened the portals of the sky.

O Shamash, thou hast raised thy head over the land.

O Shamash, thou hast covered the lands with the brightness of heaven.”18

Another hymn addressed to the Setting Sun contains a reference to the return of the god into the interior of heaven:

O Shamash, when thou enterest into the midst of heaven,

The gate bolt of the bright heavens shall give thee greeting,

The doors of heaven shall bless thee.

The righteousness of thy beloved servant shall direct thee.

Thy sovereignty shall be glorious in E-babbara, the seat of thy power,

And Ai, thy beloved wife, shall come joyfully into thy presence,

And she shall give rest unto thy heart.

A feast for thy godhead shall be spread for thee.

O valiant hero, Shamash, mankind shall glorify thee.

O lord of E-babbara, the course of thy path shall be straight.

Go forward on the road which is a sure foundation for thee.

O Shamash, thou art the judge of the world, thou directest the decisions thereof.19

Every evening, when Shamash entered the innermost part of heaven he was met by Ai, his wife, and he feasted and rested from his labours in the abode of the gods.20

Universal homage paid to Shamash.

Shamash gracious to sufferers.

But Shamash was much more than a simple personification of the physical sun. On account of the conspicuous place which he occupies in the sky he attracted universal attention and received universal homage. “Mankind, all the people together, pay heed to him.” Even “the beasts, the four-footed creatures, look upon his great light”. All the sorts of men who engage in perilous undertakings by land or sea—the messenger, the mariner, the hunter, the merchant and his henchman, he who carries the weight-stones—pray to him before they set out on their journeys.21 Before an army marched to war, offerings were made to the Sun-god, and he was consulted as to the issue of the battle.22 Before the king of Assyria appointed a man to a high office, he inquired of Shamash whether the man would be loyal to him or not.23 And Shamash was gracious to the sufferer. “Him who is sick unto death he makes to live, and he delivers the captive from his bonds.” The woman in travail he supported in her hour of need.24 The following is a prayer addressed to the Sun-god on behalf of a woman in child-bed: “O Shamash, lofty judge, father of the Black-headed ones, as for this woman the daughter of her god, may the knot that impedes her delivery be loosed in presence of the godhead! May this woman bring happily her offspring to the birth! May she bear! May she remain in life, and may it be well with the child in her womb! May she walk in health before thy godhead! May she be happily delivered and honour thee.”25

Shamash the supreme judge and source of law.

Hammurabi and the Sun-god.

But in his capacity of the great luminary which lights up all the world, Shamash was conceived especially as the supreme judge, and hence as the fount of law and justice, the supporter of virtue and the avenger of vice and crime. In the epilogue to his code, the great king and law-giver Hammurabi or Hammurapi speaks of Shamash as “the great judge of heaven and earth”; and the monarch expressly acknowledges that it is from Shamash the Sun-god that he received his laws.26 Indeed, to put the solar inspiration of his code beyond a doubt, the monument on which the laws of Hammurabi are inscribed exhibits in sculpture the figure of the king standing in an attitude of adoration before the Sun-god, who is seated on his throne and is handing to Hammurabi a ring and staff in token of his divine commission. The nature of the deity is plainly indicated by the three wavy sunbeams that emanate from each of his shoulders.27 In an inscription of Gudea, an early king of Lagash, under whom that city seems to have attained its highest degree of material prosperity,28 it is said that the Sun-god “tramples iniquity under his feet.”29 Again, in an inscription of Ur-engur, king of Ur, we read that the king established the reign of justice “according to the just laws of the Sun-god.”30 In legal as well as historical inscriptions Shamash is accorded the title of “judge of heaven and earth”. He is even called “the great judge of the gods”, or “the supreme judge of the Anunnakis”, that is to say, of all the terrestrial divinities. Hence he is, above all others, “Lord of judgment” (bêl dîni), and from the most ancient times his temple at Babylon was called “the House of the Judge of the World” (Ê-di-kud-kalama).31 In his capacity of a righteous judge the Sun-god “looks with a gracious eye upon the weak”; but “the unjust judge thou wilt put in bonds; him who takes bribes, who directs not the case aright, thou wilt punish. But as for him who takes not bribes and who pleads the cause of the weak, he is pleasing to the Sun-god, and the Sun-god will lengthen his life”.32

The moral character of the Sun-god Shamash recognized in Assyria.

Prominence of Sun-worship under the later kings of Assyria.

While this conception of the moral character of the Sun-god as the patron of justice was early developed in Babylonia, it was fully accepted at a later date in Assyria, where indeed the ideas regarding Shamash reached a higher ethical level than those concerning any other deity. The national god Ashur and the mighty goddess Ishtar are partial to Assyria, and uphold her rulers at any cost; but the favours of Shamash are bestowed upon the kings because of their righteousness, or, what comes to much the same thing, because of their claim to be righteous. To the thinking of Tiglath-pileser the First, great and ruthless conqueror as he was, the Sun-god Shamash was the judge of heaven and earth, who beheld the wickedness of the king's enemies and shattered them on account of their guilt. When the king captured alive all the kings of the countries of Nairi and mercifully granted them their lives, it was in the presence of Shamash, his lord, that he undid their bonds and set them free. It was therefore as champion of the right that Tiglath-pileser claimed to have received the glorious sceptre at the hands of the Sun-gods.33 Especially in the days of Ashurnasirbal and Shalmaneser the Second, in the ninth century before our era, the worship of the Sun received great prominence. These kings called themselves the Sun of the world.34 Indeed, more than a thousand years before them of King Hammurabi had dubbed himself the Sun-god of Babylon.35 Shalmaneser bestows many complimentary epithets on Shamash, calling him the guide of everything, the messenger of the gods, the hero, the judge of the world, who leads mankind aright, and the lord of law.36 But in placing themselves under the protection of the great judge, the kings of Assyria were not unmindful of another aspect of the Sun-god's nature, his warlike character. Tiglath-pileser calls Shamash “the warrior”, and declares that the Sun-god guarded him when Ashur, his lord, sent him forth on his career of conquest. The same title of “the warrior” is often given to Shamash in the religious literature.37

The temple of Shamash at Sippar restored by Nebuchadnezzar II.

The character of the Sun-god as at once the righteous judge and the great warrior is expressly acknowledged by Nebuchadnezzar the Second, king of Babylon, in an inscription in which he records how he repaired E-babbara, the temple of Shamash at Sippar, which had fallen into decay and was little more than a heap of ruins when the pious monarch undertook to restore it. Nebuchadnezzar says: “For Shamash, the lord, the exalted judge of heaven and earth, the great warrior, the worthy hero, the lord who dictates righteous decisions, the great lord, my lord, his temple, E-babbara, which is in Sippar, I built with joy and rejoicing. O Shamash, great lord, when thou joyfully enterest E-babbara, thy shining temple, ever look with favour upon the costly undertaking of my hand! May my gracious deeds be established on thy lips! By thy sure command may I be sated with offspring. A long life and a firm throne do thou grant me! May my sway be long and extend forever! Adorn my kingdom forever with a righteous sceptre, with goodly rule, and with a staff of justice for the welfare of my people. Protect my people with strong weapons and with the onslaught of battle. Do thou, O Shamash, truly answer me in judgment and in dream! At thy noble command, which cannot be altered, may my weapons be drawn, may they wound, may they overthrow the weapons of the enemies!”38

Shamash the god of oracles and the patron of prophets and diviners.

In virtue, apparently, of his character as the great source of light Shamash was reckoned, like Apollo in Greece, god of oracles and the patron of prophets and diviners. He is called the Lord of the Oracle. He was supposed inscribe the oracular signs on the inwards of the sheep, order that the diviner, by reading the signs, might predict the future. But he also condescended to answer in person the questions of his worshippers.39 The seers or diviners, whose profession was hereditary, being transmitted from father to son, traced their lineage to a certain fabulous Enmeduranki, king of Sippar, the favourite of the Sun-god, who lived before the great flood.40 Hence these diviners occupied the first place among the officials of the temple of the Sun-god at Sippar.41 But the oracular function was often shared by the Sun-god with the Thunder-god Adad (Ramman); inquiries were addressed to them in common; together they ranked as “Lords of Divination” (bélê bîri).42

Questions addressed to Shamash by the kings of Assyria.

A series of questions addressed to the oracular Sun-god by kings of Assyria has been preserved in inscriptions. They date from the reigns of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal in the seventh century before our era. All deal with matters concerning the state and the royal family; hence they are valuable historical documents. All begin with the same form of words: “O Shamash, great lord! As I ask thee, do thou in true mercy answer me.” Then follows the question, in which the priest, acting as mediator between god and man, asks whether certain political or warlike operations will be carried out within a set time. Next follows a prayer that the Sun-god would not heed any imperfections, impurities, or contaminations in the sacrificial lamb, or any shortcoming of the priest in dress, accent, or ceremonial purity. The first request is then repeated by the priest in a shorter form; the animal victim is inspected, and in a final prayer the Sun-god is besought to send a favourable oracle.43

Questions addressed to Shamash by King Esarhaddon.

The following may serve as a specimen of these questions put by the king to the oracular Sun-god. The speaker is King Esarhaddon, who, being hard pressed by a certain Kashtariti at the head of a group of nations, including the Medes, asks for an oracle from Shamash as to the outcome of the threatened danger:

“O Shamash, great lord! As I ask thee, do thou in true mercy answer me.

“From this day, the third day of this month of Iyar,44 to the eleventh day of the month of Ab45 of this year, a period of one hundred days and one hundred nights is the prescribed time for the priestly activity.

“Will within this period, Kashtariti, together with his soldiery, will the army of the Gimirrites, the army of the Medes, will the army of the Manneans, or will any enemy whatsoever succeed in carrying out their plan, whether by strategy or by main force, whether by the force of weapons of war and fight or by the axe, whether by a breach made with machines of war and battering rams or by hunger, whether by the power residing in the name of a god or goddess, whether in a friendly way or by friendly grace, or by any strategic device, will these aforementioned, as many as are required to take a city, actually capture the city Kishsassu, penetrate into the interior of that same city Kishsassu, will their hands lay hold of that same city Kishsassu, so that it falls into their power? Thy great divine power knows it. The capture of that same city Kishsassu, through any enemy whatsoever, within the specified period, is it definitely ordained by thy great and divine will, O Shamash? Will it actually come to pass?”46

Then having put his question, Esarhaddon proceeds to pray that no irregularity or omission in the ritual may vitiate the oracle. He says:

Heed not what the chief offering of this day may be, whether good or bad; a stormy day on which it rains!

Heed not that something unclean may have produced uncleanness at the place of vision and rendered it unclean!

Heed not that the lamb of thy divinity, which is looked upon for vision, be imperfect and with blemish!

Heed not that he who touches the forepart of the lamb may have put on his garment for sacrifice as arshati(?) or have eaten, drunk, or rubbed himself upon something unclean!

Heed not that in the mouth of the son of the seer, thy servant, a word may have been passed over in haste!47

Omens drawn from the state of the sacrificial victim.

The priest who is consulting the oracle next proceeds to examine the victim before him, which is a lamb. A list of omens is introduced for the guidance of the officiating priest, but not to be recited by him as part of the liturgy. He is instructed to observe whether “at the nape on the left side” there is a slit; whether “at the bottom on the left side of the bladder” some peculiarity is found, or whether it is normal; whether “the nape to the right side” is sunk and split, or whether the viscera are sound. The proportions, too, in the size of the various parts of the body appear to have been deemed important; hence a large number of points are mentioned to which the priest is to give heed. From a consideration of all the peculiarities and signs manifested in the victim, he divines the disposition of the god, whether it is favourable or the reverse. Finally, the ceremony closes with another appeal to the deity, entreating him to answer the question addressed to him. The priest prays, saying:

“By virtue of this sacrificial lamb, arise and grant true mercy, favourable conditions of the parts of the animal, a declaration favourable and beneficial be ordained by thy great divinity. Grant that this may come to pass. To thy great divinity, O Shamash! great lord! may it be pleasing, and may an oracle be sent in answer.”48

Shamash the god of oracles.

The foregoing is only one of a series of questions which Esarhaddon addressed to the Sun-god and which are preserved for us in inscriptions. Again and again he beseeches Shamash to reveal the issue of the campaigns in which he was engaged. Again and again does his foe Kashtariti figure in these appeals to the divinity, along with the Medes, the Gimirrites, and the rest of his enemies. We may conclude that a regular ritual for the procuring of oracles and the observation of omens was established in Assyria, and that the oracular god above all others was Shamash the Sun-god.49

Inscriptions of Agumkakrime and Nabonidus.

It is probable that a similar ritual was observed in Babylonia long before the rise of Assyria; indeed we have positive evidence of its observance in the reign of the Cassite King Agumkakrime or Agukakrime, about a thousand years before the time of Esarhaddon. For in a long inscription Agumkakrime boasts how he brought back to Babylon the image of Marduk which had been captured and carried away by enemies, and how in connexion with this enterprise he consulted Shamash by means of the lamb of a soothsayer.50 Long afterwards Nabonidus, the last king of Babylonia before the Persian conquest, tells us that when he was rebuilding the temple of the Moon-god Sin in Harran, he laid the foundation in a favourable month and on an auspicious day which had been revealed to him by Shamash.51

History of the temples of Shamash at Larsa and Sippar.

On the history and ritual of the temples of Shamash in Babylonia our information is very scanty. The first mention of the temple of the Sun-god at Larsa, in southern Babylonia, occurs in inscriptions of the first dynasty of Ur, dating about 2900 B.C.52 Ur-Bau, king of Lagash, who is thought to have reigned somewhere about 2500 B.C., tells us that he built a temple to Shamash at Larsa, but this may only mean that he restored an ancient one which had fallen into disrepair.53 A certain Enannatum, “who was chief priest in the temple of the Moon-god at Ur, has left us an inscription upon clay cones, in which he records that he rebuilt the temple of the Sun-god at Larsa for the preservation of his own life and that of Gungunu, the King of Ur”.54 This Gungunu is believed to have reigned about 2200 B.C.55 The temple of Shamash at Sippar, in Northern Babylonia, was rebuilt by Naram-Sin, king of Akkad, who reigned about 2600 B.C.56 The great Hammurabi, king of Babylonia, who reigned about 2100 B.C.,57 was strongly attached to the worship of the Sun-god Shamash, from whom, as we have seen, he professed to have received his laws. He enlarged E-babbar, the temple of Shamash at Sippar, the temple “which is like the fabric of the sky”; he also fortified Larsa, and there restored the other E-babbar for Shamash, his helper.58 At a later time Kara-indash, one of the Cassite dynasty, who reigned over Babylonia about 1450 B.C., again restored the temple of the Sun-god at Larsa.59

The temple of Shamash at Sippar restored by King Nabonidus.

Still later the temple of the Sun-god at Sippar was restored by King Nebuchadnezzar, but forty-five years later its walls had fallen in, as we learn from an inscription of Nabonidus, the last native king of Babylon, who restored the temple once more, perhaps for the last time. He recorded the restoration as follows:

“For Shamash, the judge of heaven and earth, E-babbara, his temple which is in Sippara, which Nebuchadrezzar, a former king, had rebuilt, after searching for its platform-foundation without finding it—that house he rebuilt, but in forty-five years its walls had fallen in. I became anxious and humble; I was alarmed and much troubled. When I had brought out Shamash from within it and made him take residence in another house, I pulled that house down and made search for its old platform-foundation; and I dug to a depth of eighteen cubits, and Shamash, the great lord of E-babbara, the temple, the dwelling well-pleasing to him, permitted me to behold the platform-foundation of Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon, which during a period of thirty-two hundred years, no king among my predecessors had seen. In the month Tishrit, in a favourable month, on an auspicious day, revealed to me by Shamash and Ramman in a vision, with silver, gold, costly and precious stones, products of the forest, sweet-smelling cedars, amid joy and rejoicing, I raised its brick-work—not an inch inward or outward—upon the platform-foundation of Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon. I laid in rows five thousand large cedars for its roof; I set up in its doorways high doors of cedar, thresholds and hinges (?). I built E-babbara, with its temple tower E-ilu-an-azagga anew and I completed its construction. I took the hands of Shamash, my lord, and with joy and rejoicing I made him take up a residence therein well-pleasing to him. I found the inscription, written in the name of Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon, and I did not alter it. I anointed it with oil, offered sacrifices, placed it with my inscription, and restored it to its place.

Prayer of Nabonidus to Shamash.

“O Shamash, great lord of heaven and earth, light of the gods, his fathers, offspring of Sin and Ningal, when thou enterest E-babbara, thy beloved temple, when thou takest residence in thy eternal shrine, look with joy upon me, Nabonidus—king of Babylon, the prince, thy supporter, who hath gladdened thy heart and built thy lofty dwelling-place—and my gracious works! Give me favourable signs daily at the rising and setting of the sun in the heavens and on the earth! Receive my supplications and grant favour to my petitions! May I hold the legitimate sceptre and staff, which thou hast intrusted to me, forever and ever!”60

The king's prayer to the Sun-god was as vain as that which long afterwards the Emperor Julian addressed, in a fervour of devotion, to the same bright deity. For a few years more, and Babylon had fallen to the arms of Cyrus, and King Nabonidus was a captive. So little help, apparently, can the Sun-god give even to his royal and imperial worshippers.

Offerings to Shamash.

Of offerings made to the Sun-god by his votaries the records appear to be few. Shar-Gani-sharri, king of Agade, better known as Sargon the First, dedicated to Shamash in his temple at Sippar a famous inscribed mace-head, which is now in the British Museum.61 Rimush, king of Kish, the son and successor of Sargon the First, added ten sheep for daily sacrifice to the ten which had previously been offered to the Sun-god at Sippar, thus bringing the number up to twenty sheep a day. He also doubled the other sacrifices, thus making a total of four oxen, six measures of corn, three measures of meal, and corresponding quantities of dates, oil, fat of swine, milk, and honey, besides the twenty sheep.62 Manishtusu, the successor of Rimush on the throne of Kish, after subjugating the rebel king of Anshan, led his captive into the presence of Shamash at Sippar, and lavishly enriched the temple of the Sun-god in gratitude for his victory.63 His restoration of the temple and the worship of the Sun-god is recorded in a long inscription engraved in twelve columns on a large cruciform stone.64 Gungunum, king of Larsa (about 2264–2238 B.C.) dedicated two copper palm-trees and a great copper statue in the temple of the Sun-god.65 Nur-Adad, king of Larsa (about 2197–2182 B.C.) offered a golden throne to Shamash, and invested the high-priest of the god with due authority.66

Inscription of Nabupaliddin.

Recovery of the image of Shamash.

Royal favours to the priest of the Sun-god at Sippar.

From an inscription of Nabupaliddin, king of Babylon, who reigned in the first half of the ninth century B.C., we learn that at some period the temple of Shamash at Sippar had been ruined in an invasion of a hostile people, the Sutu, that the image and insignia of the god had disappeared, and had been vainly sought for by the king of Babylon; and that at a subsequent time, as a result of distress and famine, the regular sacrifices had been discontinued, and the drink offering had fallen into abeyance. The disappearance of the image was interpreted as a sign of the displeasure of the god, who had turned away his neck in anger. However, in the reign of King Nabupaliddin the deity relented and showed his favour once more. “The relief of his image, cut in clay, his statue and insignia were found on the other side of the Euphrates towards the west; and Nabunadinshum, the priest of Sippar, the seer, of the seed of Ekurshumushabshi, the priest of Sippar, the seer, showed Nabupaliddin, the king, his lord, that relief of the image; and Nabupaliddin, the king of Babylon, who had commanded him and intrusted him to replace that image, saw that image, and his countenance was glad and his spirit exultant; he directed his attention to replace that image, and with the wisdom of Ea…with pure gold and brilliant lapis lazuli, he carefully prepared the image of Shamash, the great lord. He washed his mouth according to the purification rite of Ea and Marduk, in the presence of Shamash in Ekarsaginna, which is on the bank of the Euphrates, and he (Shamash) took up his residence. He made offerings to his heart's content, consisting of immense oxen and large sheep, and with honey, wine, and grain in abundance he filled the granaries.” Further, King Nabupaliddin showed favour to Nabunadinshum, the priest of the Sun-god at Sippar. He made him an allowance of food and drink, the ancient dues of Shamash; also he assigned to him a garden, which a former king of Babylon had bestowed on a former priest of Shamash at Sippar. Moreover, the king presented six fine garments of purple wool for the use of Shamash, his wife Ai, and his charioteer Bunene.67 Having recorded these and other munificent gifts to the Sun-god and his priest, the king concludes the record with the following solemn warning: “Whoever in the future enters this palace as ruler and renders null the gift of the King Nabupaliddin, or presents it to another, or cuts down the allowance, or reckons it as belonging to the prefect, or appropriates it to himself, or by some evil act destroys this tablet, as for that man, by the command of Shamash, A, and Bunene, lords of fates, the great gods, may his name pass away, may his seed perish, in distress and want may his life go out, may his corpse be cast out, and may he not be granted burial!”68 On his accession to the throne Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, offered six minae of gold as a tithe to the Sun-god at Sippar.69

Wealth of the temple of Shamash at Sippar.

Through the accumulation of votive offerings the temples acquired a considerable degree of wealth and became the monetary centres or banks of the community. As early as the time of the first dynasty the temple of Shamash at Sippar was ready to lend money or arrange loans in seed to farmers. In inscriptions of that period we read of a man who borrowed five and a half shekels from the Sun god Shamash at Sippar, agreeing to pay it back with interest at harvest; and we read of another man who got a loan of ten measures of grain from a priestess of Shamash and promised to pay for it at a stipulated rate when the harvest came round.70

Ritual of the worship of Shamash at Sippar.

A ritual tablet furnishes us with some details as to the worship of Shamash at Sippar in the tenth century before our era.71 In it directions are given that, “as soon as the horizon of the heaven is overcast with darkness”, the priest is to prepare three tables and place them in a row, the middle table for Shamash and Ramman (Adad), the left table for Aa, the wife of Shamash, and the right table for Bunene, the messenger and charioteer of Shamash. Four clean rams are also to be provided, two for Shamash and Ramman, one for Aa, and one for Bunene. Directions are further given for distributing the flesh of the victims, for strewing cypress and cedar roots on three censers, and for pouring out sesame wine, and for a prostration to be performed by the priest. A lamb is to be sacrificed to the protecting god and a libation to be offered, with the words, “Shamash and Ramman, great gods!” Further, the seer is to place the divining-cup in position. Without a gift the seer shall not approach the place of judgment nor raise the staff of cedar; else the gods will not reveal the oracle to him. It is the diviner, who divines by means of oil, that shall cause the sacrificer to raise the cedar staff, he shall shake water upon the oil. If the sacrificial victim be found without blemish, “then shall the seer set himself before Shamash and Ramman upon the judgment seat, and give a true and righteous judgment. Then will Shamash and Ramman, the great gods, the lords of the oracle, the lords of the decision, stand up for him, make a decision for him, and answer him with true grace.”72

Offering to Shamash before sunrise.

In the same tablet directions are given for making an offering to Shamash before the rising of the sun. A censer is to be placed before Shamash, another before Ramman (Adad), another before Marduk, another before Aa, another before Bunene, another before Kettu, and another before Mesharu. Behind the censer which is before Shamash shall be set a table, and on the table shall be placed four jugs of sesame wine, thrice twelve wheaten loaves, and a mixture of honey and curds, sprinkled with salt. “The censer which is before Shamash thou shalt strew, take the hand of the sacrificer, and speak thus: ‘May So-and-so, thy servant, offer a sacrifice at the rising of the sun, may he raise the staff of cedar, and stand in the presence of thy great divinity; may thy great divinity be well pleased with reference to this sheep, all of whose flesh is unblemished, whose appearances are auspicious’. Thereupon thou shalt offer the sacrifice.”73

Sculptured representation of the worship of the Sun-god at Sippar.

A scene of worship in the temple of the Sun-god at Sippar is sculptured in relief on a well-known Babylonian tablet, which is now in the British Museum. On the lower part of the tablet are inscribed the records of the benefactions conferred on the temple by Nabupaliddin (Nabû-apal-iddina), king of Babylon.74 The upper part contains the sculptured relief. The Sun-god is represented sitting within a shrine upon a throne, the side of which is carved with two mythical figures; he has a long beard and wears a high pointed cap and a flowing robe, which reaches to his ankles. In his extended right hand he holds a disk and bar, “which may be symbolic of the sun's orbit, or eternity”. Above his head are the three disks emblematic of the Moon, the Sun, and the planet Venus. The roof of the shrine is supported by a column in the form of a palm-trunk standing immediately in front of the seated deity. Before the shrine is a square altar, on which rests the disk of the Sun. Within the disk is a four-pointed star with wavy lines between the points to represent sunbeams. The disk is held in position by means of ropes tightly drawn in the hands of two divine beings, whose busts are seen projecting from the celestial canopy just above the capital of the supporting column. Approaching the disk are three figures, much smaller than that of the seated Sun-god. The first of the three is the high priest of the Sun-god, who is leading the king to worship the disk, the symbol of the solar deity; the last of the three figures is an attendant goddess holding up her hands in an attitude of adoration. The shrine of the god rests upon the Celestial Ocean, which is indicated by wavy lines that run the whole length of the relief. Within the water of the Ocean are seen four small disks, each containing a star; they may perhaps stand for the four cardinal points of the sky. The text inscribed below this relief describes the restoration of the temple of the Sun-god by two kings named Simmash-shipak (about 1030 B.C.) and E-ulmash-shakin-shum (about 1020 B.C.). It then proceeds to say that Nabupaliddin (Nabû-apal-iddina), king of Babylon, found and restored the ancient image of the Sun-god and the sculptures of the temple, which had been overthrown by the enemies of the country. The shrine of the god had been stripped of its beautiful ornaments, and its ancient endowments had been appropriated for profane uses. But when Nabupaliddin came to the throne, he resolved to take vengeance on the foe who had perpetrated this shocking sacrilege, to found again and to endow again the shrines of the gods, and to institute regular festivals and offerings. Moreover, he adorned the ancient figure of the Sun-god with gold and lapis lazuli. The text concludes with a list of the offerings which the king dedicated to the temple, and enumerates at length the various garments and apparel which the priests were to wear on holy days and at festivals. The tablet was engraved in the ninth century B.C., but the sculptured scene of Sun-worship at the top was probably copied from a much more ancient relief.75

The Sun-god Shamash invoked in exorcisms.

The Sun-god Shamash was believed to possess power over demons, witches, and wizards; hence in incantations he was besought to deliver the haunted, the sick, and the bewitched from the snares and spells of these maleficent beings. Thus when a man was haunted by the ghost of a dead relative, the exorcist was directed to take two threads, one scarlet and the other of many colours, to spin the two together, and to tie seven knots in the string, and while he tied the knots he was to repeat the following incantation:

O Sun-god, king of heaven and earth, judge of what is above and below, lord of the dead, ruler of the living,

O Sun-god, the dead who have risen and appeared, whether the ghost of my father or of my mother, or the ghost of my brother,

Or of my sister, let them accept this, and leave me free!

Effigy employed in exorcism.

Further, in order to make sure of laying the ghost, an effigy of the dead man was to be made and buried in a grave, while at the same time an effigy of the haunted person was to be made and washed in pure water by way of signifying his riddance of the ghost.76

Shamash appealed to for help against sorcerers.

Another incantation contains an appeal to the Sun-god to undo the enchantments of sorcerers. It runs as follows:

“It is thee whom I have invoked, O Shamash, in the midst of the bright heavens; sit down in the shadow of a cedar. Let thy feet rest on the root of a cypress. The countries acclaim thee, they throw themselves before thee, uttering cries of joy. Thy brilliant light beholds all the peoples; thy net is cast on all the lands. O Shamash, thou knowest all the spells that enchain them; thou destroyest the wicked, thou dost undo the enchantments, the signs, the fatal omens, the heavy, evil dreams; thou cuttest the bonds of wickedness, which destroy peoples and lands. Such as have wrought enchantments, sorceries, evil witcheries, O keep them not before thee; to the bright Nisaba77 deliver their images, the images of those who have wrought witcheries and planned iniquity, whose heart meditates a multitude of wickednesses. Be propitious, O Shamash! light of the great gods! May I be strong in the face of the author of my enchantment; may the god who begat me stand fast at my side; over the purification of my mouth, over the righteousness of my hands, keep watch, O Lord! light of the world! Shamash, thou judge!”78

Prayer to Shamash before felling a sacred tree.

Again, before an image-maker felled a tree of which the wood was to be used to make images, he had to pray to the Sun-god, saying, “O Shamash! august lord, sublime judge, overseer of the world and of the sky, sovereign of the dead and of the living, I fell a divine tree, a sacred tamarisk, a holy tree, whereof to make images which I will place in the house of So-and-So, son of So-and-So, to lay low the wicked spirits. I kneel before thee. May all that I do succeed and prosper!” Having said so he was to fell the tree with a golden axe; then from the wood he was to make seven images of the seven gods in their proper costume and hats; on a pedestal of tamarisk wood he was to place them, clad in grey clay as in a garment.79

Prayers to the Sun-god on behalf of persons bewitched

The following prayer or incantation is addressed to the Sun-god on behalf of a man on whom a spell has been cast:

O Shamash! from the depths of the sky thou lightest thy lamp,

Thou undoest the bolt of the bright heavens.

O Shamash! upon the lands thou liftest up thy head.

O Shamash! thou coverest with light the heavens and the earth,

To the peoples afar off thou givest the light.

All the witchcraft that is in his body, let it come forth!

Let him shine like bright copper!

Dissolve thou his enchantment!

To the end of his life may he tell of thy grandeur,

And I, the exorcist, thy servant, may I be able to celebrate thy worship.”80

Another prayer or incantation addressed to the Sun-god by a man who has been bewitched is as follows:

“O Shamash!

Make me to live; to the pure hands of my god and of my goddess,

For may salvation and life, do thou commit me.

O Shamash! thou art the king of heaven and earth, thou governest the world above and below.

O Shamash! it is in thy power to give life to the dead, to deliver the captive.

Thou art a judge incorruptible, thou governest mankind.

Illustrious scion of the lord of illustrious origin,

Mightly son, bright light of the lands,

Thou dost illumine the whole heaven and earth, O thou, Shamash!

O Shamash! because the charm is not yet broken which has fastened on me now many a day,

Wasting and corruption and an evil plight of flesh are in me;

By man, by the beasts of the fields, by all that bears a name, the charm doth break me;

It hath filled me with sickness, with weakness incurable;

By the breaking of my heart and the evil plight of my flesh I am undone.

And I, day and night, I am without repose;

I am in darkness, I am afflicted, I am full of anguish;

By pain and lamentation I am brought low.

My fault, I know it not; of the crime that I have committed I am ignorant.

When I was young, I sinned;

I transgressed the commandments of my God.”81

Grove of the Sun-god and Tammuz at Eridu.

The Sun-god Shamash is often brought into relation with other deities. We have seen that he is frequently coupled with Adad (Ramman) in the giving of oracles. At the ancient city of Eridu, which formerly stood on the shore of the Persian Gulf, though the sea has long retreated from it, we hear of a holy grove, like a forest, untrodden by the foot of man, where in the deep shade the Sun-god dwelt with Tammuz, the spirit of plant life which blooms in spring to wither in the scorching heat of summer.82 It is interesting to find the personification of the short-lived blossoms thus dwelling side by side in the same shady grove with the personification of the sun, who might be thought his cruel foe.

Shamash endeavours to being back Ishtar (Astarte) from the nether world.

Again, when Ishtar (Astarte), the goddess of love, had descended to the nether world, and the life both of men and of animals was consequently threatened with extinction, her brother Shamash, the Sun-god, went to their father Sin, the Moon-god, and with tears running down his face explained to him the melancholy situation. He said: “Ishtar has gone down into the earth, and has not yet come forth; after Ishtar had descended to the land of No-Return, the bull did not mount the cow, nor did the ass leap upon the she-ass, the man did not approach the maid in the street, the man lay down to sleep upon his own couch, while the maid slept by herself”. Apparently the Moon-god had no remedy to suggest for this alarming state of affairs; at least, if he offered any remarks on the subject, they have not been recorded by the scribe. However, the great god Ea took measures promptly to bring back the goddess of love to the upper earth and so to set the tide of life flowing once more. He sent down a messenger to Allatu, the goddess who kept the infernal gaol, with orders that she was to release Ishtar at once. The grim Fury received the command with anything but good humour; indeed, she cursed the messenger in very bitter words, saying, “I will curse thee with a fearful curse. The food of the sewage of the city shall be thy food, the gutters of the city shall be thy drinking-place, the shadow of the wall shall be thy station, the threshold shall be thy place of residence, may dungeon and prison-house destroy thy strength!” But for all her rage she could not resist the orders of the great god. So Ishtar was sprinkled with the water of life and led out through the seven gates of hell, which opened to let her pass; and at every gate there was restored to her one of the ornaments of which she had been stripped on her descent to the nether world.83

Dialogue between Shamash and Gilgamesh.

Again, we possess a short and unfortunately fragmentary dialogue between the Sun-god and Gilgamesh, the hero of the famous Babylonian epic which bears his name. Mourning for his dead friend and wandering the world over to find the secret of immortality, Gilgamesh came to the Sun-god, to Shamash. But Shamash was sad and said to him, “Gilgamesh, why runnest thou hither and thither? The life that thou seekest thou shalt never find.” Gilgamesh said to him, to the warrior Shamash, “Since I have been roving the earth like the dalu bird, have the stars above the earth diminished? I have lain down for years together. O that my eyes may behold the sun! that I may satisfy myself with the light! Darkness is far off when the light is abundant. O that the dead might behold the gleam of the sun!”84

§ 2. The Worship of the Sun among other Ancient Semites

Worship of Sun among the ancient Arabs.

Worship of the Sun in Palymra.

The evidence for the practice of Sun-worship in other branches of the Semitic race is very scanty, though it might be rash to infer the absence of the worship from the scarcity of the records. According to Strabo, the Nabataeans, in northern Arabia, worshipped the Sun; they built altars to him on the roofs of their houses and poured libations and burned incense in his honour day by day.85 With regard to the heathen Arabs we are told that Shams, that is, the Sun, “was an idol of the Banu Tamim; he had a house and all the Banu Udd worshipped him”.86 Here Shams is spoken of in the masculine gender, but only because the word for “idol” is masculine. The deity was in reality feminine and was known simply as “the goddess”. In Palmyra, where in later times, as we have seen, there was a well-developed worship of the Sun,87 Shams was also masculine, but this was probably an effect of foreign, perhaps Greek, influence;88 for in Greek mythology the Sun was always masculine. Aramaic inscriptions found at Palmyra record votive offerings to Shamash, the Sun-god: one of them contains the dedication of an altar and a sun-pillar to him;89 another mentions the dedication of six pillars, their beams, and their coverings to Shamash, jointly with Allath and Raham, “the good gods”.90 Among the stately ruins of Palmyra, where the long line of dazzling white columns presents a striking and picturesque contrast with the yellow sand of the desert, the remains of the temple of the Sun are the most magnificent objects and, being of the Ionic order, relieve the monotony of the prevailing and more florid Corinthian style.91

No positive evidence of Sun-worship in early Israel.

There is nothing to suggest that in their nomadic life the Israelites were worshippers of the Sun; and even after they had settled in Palestine positive evidence of such a worship is lacking before the times of the kings. In default of such evidence the theory of a worship of the Sun among the early Israelites rests on the slippery foundation of etymological speculation, in which the towns of Beth-Shemesh, “House of the Sun”, and En-Shemesh, “Fountain of the Sun”, naturally figure prominently. On the strength mainly of his name, which means “solar”, Samson has often been explained as a solar hero or god, and in support of this view it has been remarked that he belonged to the tribe of Dan, the name of which means “judge”, the title so often bestowed on the Babylonian Sun-god Shamash.92

Worship of the Sun at Jerusalem under King Manasseh

The reformation of King Josiah.

Jeremiah on the worship of the Sun and Moon.

The worship on the housetops.

But while the evidence for a primitive cult of the Sun in Israel is at best very dubious, there is no doubt that in later times the worship gained a foothold in the kingdom. Manasseh, the idolatrous king of Judah, worshipped all the host of heaven and built altars for them in the two courts of the temple at Jerusalem,93 and in the host of heaven he would necessarily include the Sun and Moon. As Manasseh reigned for fifty-five years, the example set by the king was doubtless followed by many of his subjects. Later on, in the same century, the pious King Josiah abolished the worship of the heavenly bodies; he caused the vessels that had been used in the idolatrous service to be carried out of Jerusalem and to be burned, and the very ashes of them to be conveyed away to Bethel; and he put down the idolatrous priests and those who had burned incense to Baal, to the Sun, and to the Moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.94 And in the book of Deuteronomy, which is generally believed to have been published by King Josiah in 621 B.C. and made the basis of his reformation, the penalty of death by stoning is denounced against any man or woman who should, by the testimony of two witnesses, be proved guilty of the abominable crime of worshipping the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven; the witnesses were to cast the first stones at him or her.95 The prophet Jeremiah, a contemporary of King Josiah, predicts that “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried”.96 In another passage the same stern prophet foretells the desolation that shall come upon “all the houses upon whose roof they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven”.97 Similarly the prophet Zephaniah speaks with indignation of “them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops”.98 Hence we may infer that the idolatrous Israelites, like the Nabataeans, adored the Sun on the roofs of their houses. King Josiah broke down “the altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made”, and he cast the dust of the broken altars into the brook Kidron.99 Probably these altars on the roof were consecrated to the worship of the Sun and the other heavenly bodies, like the altars on the roofs of houses among the Nabataeans.

The chariots and horses of the Sun at Jerusalem.

Further, the royal reformer and ardent iconoclast “took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire”.100 This is the only notice in the Old Testament of horses and chariots dedicated to the Sun in the temple at Jerusalem; but from the Jewish commentators it appears that the horses were not kept for sacrifice, but that they were harnessed to the chariots and driven out towards the east to meet and worship the sun at his rising.101 We may conjecture that the chariots and horses were placed at the disposal of the Sun to enable him to accomplish his journey across the sky in ease and comfort. We have seen that the notion of the Sun driving in a chariot across the sky was common to the Vedic Indians, the Iranians, the Greeks, and the Babylonians, and that the Rhodians were wont annually to throw a chariot and horses into the sea for the use of the Sun.102

Ezekiel's vision of the worshippers of the Sun at the gate of the temple.

The custom of saluting the Sun.

Yet the sweeping reformation instituted by King Josiah would seem to have failed to eradicate the seeds of Sun-worship from the minds of the Israelites; for in the following century the prophet Ezekiel, writing in exile by the waters of Babylon, describes how in a vision he was brought to the temple at Jerusalem and saw there at the gate women weeping for Tammuz, and how in the inner court, between the porch and the altar, he beheld five and twenty men with their backs towards the temple and their faces towards the cast, and they were worshipping the Sun and putting the branch to their noses.103 The pious job speaks of the practice of kissing the hand to the sun as a heathen custom and a punishable offence. He says: “If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above”.104

§ 3. The Worship of the Sun among the Ancient Egyptians105

Prevalence of Sun-worship in ancient Egypt.

Among all the peoples of antiquity none adored the Sun so fervently and so long as the Egyptians. Indeed, the Sun-god may be said to have occupied the foremost place in the national pantheon and to have tended from time to time to efface the other deities, either by identifying them with himself or by abolishing them altogether. It is true that the evidence for the existence of Sun-worship does not begin to flow clearly until the time of the fourth and fifth dynasties, which seem to have lasted roughly from about 3100 B.C. to 2800 B.C.106 It was in this period that the five pyramids at Sakkarah (Memphis) were built, and from the inscriptions engraved in hieroglyphics on the walls, passages, and galleries of the pyramids we gather that the worship of the Sun formed then the groundwork of the national, or at least of the royal religion.107

The Sun-god Ra worshipped specially at Heliopolis.

Ra identified with Atum and Horus.

Ra conceived as Khepera, the scarab beetle.

The ordinary name of the Sun-god was Ra or Re, as the name is now usually transliterated. The name is simply the ordinary Egyptian word for the Sun,108 so that the Egyptian Sun-god is as clearly a personification of the physical sun as the Vedic Surya, the Greek Helios, the Latin Sol, and the Babylonian Shamash. But the deity had many other titles, apparently because he was identified with various local gods, some of whom probably had originally no connexion with the Sun. In very early times the worship of the Sun was centred at Heliopolis, a vanished city which stood not far north of the site now occupied by the modern Cairo. But even there it seems that the Sun was not the original deity; he was identified with an older local divinity called Atum or Tum, of whose origin we know nothing, but who may perhaps have been an ichneumon totem, since in later times he was occasionally represented in the form of an ichneumon.109 The Sun-god was also identified with Horus, the Falcon-god of Behdet (Edfu) in Upper Egypt, who later was worshipped throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom; and the identification was supported by conceiving the sun as a falcon flying across the sky. The comparison was very popular, and it is in the form of Horus on the Horizon (Hor-achte) that the Sun-god was most commonly represented even in early times. Yet again, the Sun-god was conceived of as Khepera or Khepri, the scarab beetle, which symbolizes coming-into-existence; and it has been conjectured that the idea may have been suggested by the resemblance which popular fancy traced between the sun's disk crossing the sky and the beetle rolling his ball of dung before him.110

Egyptian Sun-worship imposed on a basis of totemism.

“In all this”, observes Professor Peet, “we see how strong was the tendency to harmonize sun-worship with the local totemic cults. The impression we receive is that sun-worship, and indeed the whole cosmic system of which it is typical, was secondary in Egypt, imposing itself on a substratum of totemism. In any case, whatever doubts there may be on this point, one thing is clear, namely that nine-tenths of the mythology of Ancient Egypt is cosmic in origin, and that it was grafted on to a totemic system with which it had originally no connexion. Thus to Horus, a falcon totem in origin, was attached the whole of the mass of myth which centred round the sun, while to Thoth, originally an ibis totem in the north-eastern Delta, accrued all the legend connected with the moon.”111

Attempts to reconcile the various names and attributes of the Sun-god.

Sometimes an attempt was made to reconcile the different names and attributes of the Sun-god by supposing that they applied to him at different times of his course across the sky. Thus in the Turin papyrus it is said that the Sun-god is Khepera in the morning, Ra at noon, and Atum at evening, but the distinction was never carried out consistently; an ancient text, for example, represents the rising sun as Ra and the setting sun as Khepera.112

The Sun-god supposed to cross the sky in a boat or boats.

Most commonly the Sun-god was supposed to sail across the sky in a ship or boat built on the model of the ordinary boats which are used on the Nile. Amidships was a cabin in which the god installed himself either sitting or standing; fore and aft were his attendant deities, whose business was to navigate the boat and to fight such foes as might oppose the progress of the Sun-god: the watch was relieved hourly. For, accustomed as they were to the use of waterways rather than of roadways in travelling, the Egyptians imagined that the movement of the heavenly bodies also consisted in a navigation, either on the waters which were thought to form the firmament, or else on the celestial Nile, which was supposed to run through a sky of metal. It was commonly understood that the Sun had two barks at his disposal, one called the mâd or mâdet boat, in which he sailed in the morning, and the other the sekti boat, in which he sailed in the afternoon. But, according to another theory, the number of the Sun's barks was much larger, one being provided for every hour of the day.113 Thus the different vehicles provided for the use of the Sun-god in different lands furnish a good instance of the way in which men create their gods in their own likeness. Where men travelled in chariots drawn by horses, they naturally assumed that the deity did so too; and, on the other hand, where men habitually voyaged in boats, they took it for granted that the divinity similarly navigated the azure ocean of heaven in a ship of some sort. If there ever had been a Venetian Sun-god, he would no doubt have traversed the sky in a gondola or, if he kept pace with the march of intellect, in a steam-launch.

Nocturnal passage of the Sun through the underworld.

During the night the Sun was supposed to traverse the underworld (Duat) or land of the dead from west to east, sailing in his boat on a river which runs through that dismal region. His subterranean voyage is described in great detail in two long texts which have come down to us, the Book of Am Duat, and the Book of the Gates.114 On the banks of the subterranean river dwelt all manner of spirits and demons, some of them in the form of monkeys, because it was their function to worship the setting sun; the Egyptians may have noticed how monkeys chatter together at sunset and may have interpreted their chattering as adoration addressed to the descending luminary.115 The underworld was thought to be divided into twelve compartments, called fields, cities, or dwellings: each of them was entered by a door; and the passage of the Sun through each of them occupied one hour. The dead shouted with joy when they beheld the bark of the Sun floating by in glory and illumining the infernal gloom by his radiance for one brief hour; for the departed were supposed to dwell in darkness which was dissipated by the passage of the Sun only for one hour out of the twenty-four. At all other times the blackness of darkness prevailed, only relieved, if relief it could be called, by the lurid light of fire-spitting serpents, or of the sea of fire in which the enemies of the Sun-god were consumed. Thus to sit in utter darkness was the lot of nearly all the dead, of the rich and great as well as of the poor and lowly; kings themselves were not exempt from it. Few there were who remained for ever with the Sun and voyaged with him eternally; these were not necessarily the great ones of the earth, nor yet the very good, but they were those who possessed the most minute information about the next world and who were best versed in magic.116 As for the dead in the nether world, they greet the Sun-god joyfully: “they lift up their arms and praise him, and tell him all their wishes…Their eyes open again at the sight of him, and their heart exults when they see him. He hears the prayer of him who lies in the coffin; he dispels their sorrow and drives away their sadness; he puts breath into their nostrils”, and as the fresh breezes of the upper world never blow in the windless underworld, the dead seize the rope at the bow of the Sun-god's boat and draw the vessel along, plodding on the bank like men who tow a barge on the Nile when the wind is contrary.117

The Sun-goddess Rat.

From the earliest times the Sun-god was regularly conceived to be male; but in later times the Egyptians associated with him a goddess, who was created very simply by adding a feminine termination to the masculine name for the sun. Thus the Sun-goddess Rat or Rat Taui, that is, “Rat of the Two Lands”, came into being. But no particular duties were assigned to her: her functions, so far as she had any, resembled those of Isis, and she was even represented bearing the cow horns of that goddess, but never with the head of a falcon. She was often called the Lady of Heliopolis, but she was also supposed to dwell in other places, as in the peninsula of Sinai.118

Heliopolis (An, On), the great sent of the worship of the Sun.

Zenith and decline of the temple of the Sun at Heliopolis.

The great seat of Sun-worship in the times of the ancient kingdom was the city which the Egyptians called An, the Hebrews On, and the Greeks Heliopolis, that is, the City of the Sun. The Egyptians also named it Pa Ra, “the House of Ra”. It was a small town, which, while it exercised a great influence on the history of Egyptian religion, took no part in political revolutions; it was a purely religious capital. The city has long vanished. It stood in the plain at a little distance from the Nile, near the apex of the Delta. The site is now partly occupied by the village of Matarieh, about five miles to the north-east of Cairo. An obelisk standing erect in the middle of the fields, some mounds of ruins, some scattered stones, and two or three fragments of crumbling walls are all that remain to tell of its former grandeur. The obelisk bears the name of Usertesen or Senusret the First, a king of the Twelfth Dynasty (about 2200 to 2000 B.C.), who is better known by the name of Sesostris.119 The history of the city cannot be carried very far back. In texts of the Old Kingdom it is seldom named, and the foundation of the great temple of Ra, which was zealously adorned by later Pharaohs, dates only from the Twelfth Dynasty. The event is described in a document written on leather and now preserved at Berlin. But the temple was not the first sanctuary built in the city; for the same manuscript mentions that on the occasion of the new foundation the great house of Tum or Atum was enlarged. Under Rameses the Third (about 1200 B.C.) the temple was at the height of its power; nearly thirteen thousand persons are said to have been engaged in its service.120 But the decline of the city appears to have begun somewhat early. In the fifth century before our era Herodotus visited the city and conversed with the priests, who revealed to him some of their divine mysteries which he preferred not to divulge.121 In Strabo's time, about the beginning of our era, the city had fallen into utter decay and was deserted; but the ancient temple of the Sun was still standing, together with the great houses once inhabited by the priests, and the sacred bull Mnevis was still fed and worshipped as a god in his stall, like the other divine bull Apis at Memphis. But the old college of priests, who were thought to devote themselves to philosophy and astronomy and to practise a life of religious austerity, had ceased to exist; nobody was to be seen about the deserted courts and quadrangles but the men whose business it was to offer sacrifice, and the guides who earned a livelihood by showing strangers over the temple.122

The spring of the Sun-god at Heliopolis.

There was in Heliopolis a sacred spring of the Sun-god which has survived his temple. When King Piankhi of Ethiopia arrived at Heliopolis about 730 B.C., on his of triumphal march through Egypt, he washed his face, as he himself relates, in the pool of fresh water in which the Sun-god Ra was wont to lave his divine countenance. The Arabs still call it “the Spring of the Sun”; and here, as the ancient legend relates, the Mother of Christ washed her infant's swaddling clothes when she reached Egypt in her flight from Herod. It is said that from the water falling on the ground there sprang up a balsam shrub, the like of which, according to the Arab historian Makrizi, is not to be found in the world. Even to this day the traveller is shown the sycamore, under which the Holy Family rested after their long and weary journey.123

Visit of the Ethiopian king Piankhi to the temple of the Sun at Heliopolis.

The Ethiopian king recorded his triumphal march through Egypt in a long inscription, which is said to be the best example of a truly historical Egyptian inscription. In it, after describing how he washed his face in the pool of the Sun, the monarch continues as follows: “He proceeded to the sandhill in Heliopolis, he brought an offering on the sand-dune in Heliopolis to Ra at his rising, a great offering of white oxen, milk, incense, balsam, and all sorts of sweet-smelling woods. Then he returned to the temple of Ra; the superintendent of the temple praised him highly: the speaker of prayers spoke the prayer for the averting of enemies from the king: the king performed the ceremony in the chamber of purification, the putting on of the bands, the purifying with incense and the water of libations, the handing of flowers for the Hat Benben of the god. He took the flowers, he ascended the steps to the great terrace, to see Ra in the Hat Benben, he the king himself. When the prince was alone, he undid the bolt, he opened the doors and saw his Father Ra in the Hat Benben, he saw the morning boat of Ra and the evening boat of Tum. He closed the doors, he put the seal on, and sealed it with the royal seal. He declared to the priests, ‘I have put on the seal, no other king shall go in thither’. They threw themselves down before His Majesty and said, ‘May Horus, the darling of Heliopolis, exist, and remain, and never pass away’. And he went and entered into the temple of Tum, and they brought the statue of Tum the Creator, the lord of Heliopolis, and King Osorkon came to see His Majesty.”124 At this time Egypt was broken up into a number of petty kingdoms. The Osorkon here mentioned was king of Bubastis.125

The temple of the Sun at Heliopolis called Hat Benben, the “House of the Obelisk”.

The title of Hat Benben, given to the temple of the Sun at Heliopolis, means the “House of the Obelisk”, for the Benben was a small stone obelisk or rather perhaps pyramid, which was supposed to be an embodiment of the Sun-god Ra himself. It enjoyed a great reputation and is mentioned especially in religious and magical texts; it may even have been the model of the great obelisks which were amongst the most striking features of Egyptian Sun-worship.126 The great obelisks which stood at the entrances of temples were dedicated to the Sun, and so were the little votive obelisks which were placed in tombs, particularly during the period of the Old Kingdom. Under the New Kingdom these small obelisks were replaced by small pyramids, which are not to be regarded as modelled on the huge sepulchral pyramids of the Old Kingdom; rather they represent the obelisks, the pointed tops of which are similarly shaped.127

The temples of the Sun different in plan from the ordinary temples.

The kings of the Fifth Dynasty were devoted to the worship of the Sun-god Ra; indeed, the first king of the dynasty is said to have been a high priest of that deity, and from him his successors on the throne appear to have inherited their partiality for the solar religion. Almost every one of them built a new sanctuary for the Sun-god near his residence, and the highest nobility served as priests in it. These sanctuaries, which bore titles such as “Favourite Seat of Ra”, were built on quite a different plan from the usual Egyptian temple. In the ordinary temple the Holy of Holies, approached through a pillared hall from an open cloistered court, was a closed chamber in which deep darkness reigned; for it had no windows, and light penetrated to it only through the door. There in the religious gloom might be faintly discerned the image of the god; it was usually a wooden idol not more than eighteen inches high, for it had to be small and light that it might be carried in the processions which figured largely in the worship. On the other hand, in the temples of the Sun-god built by kings of the Fifth Dynasty the deity was represented in the Holy of Holies by a great stone obelisk, resting on a massive truncated pyramid as a foundation and completely open to the sky and the sunlight. The temples of this peculiar type were perhaps modelled on the great temple of the Sun-god at Heliopolis, which has disappeared and of which we have no description. One of these Sun-temples stood at Abu Gurab; from its remains, many of which are now in the museum at Berlin, it is possible to restore conjecturally the general plan of the temple.128

Temple of the Sun-god at Busiris.

Another temple of the Sun-god, on the same plan, has been excavated at Abusir (Busiris) in the Delta. Outside of the temple, on the southern face of it, was discovered the image of a boat, about a hundred feet long, built of bricks. It was no doubt provided for the convenience of the Sun-god to enable him to accomplish his daily voyage across the sky; and as the temple stands to the west of the Nile we may suppose that the boat was the one which the deity used in the afternoon and evening to transport him to his setting in the west. Hence it would appear that the temple at Abusir (Busiris) was dedicated specially to the Setting Sun.129 The unusual materials employed in the construction of the vessel would be no impediment to its use by the deity, who would find, or make, bricks quite as buoyant as timber.

Temple of the Sun-god at Behdet (Edfu).

Another seat of Sun-worship was Behdet, the modern Edfu, in Upper Egypt. The temple of the Sun-god there, restored in the Greek period on the ancient model, is still in perfect preservation. It is constructed on the ordinary plan with an inner sanctuary or Holy of Holies of the usual type.130

The Sun-god Ra represented as a man with the head of a falcon or hawk.

The falcon-god perhaps originally a falcon totem.

The Sun-god Ra was almost invariably represented as a man with the head of a falcon or hawk, holding in one hand the kingly sceptre, and in the other hand the symbol of life, which was a cross with a loop at the top to serve as a handle.131 On his head he wears the solar disk with the uraeus coiled about it, that serpent being symbolic of power over life and death. It is a characteristic sign of Egyptian solar deities to have the head of a hawk or falcon: many of them were supposed to be incarnate in the bird; wherever a god is so represented, his solar nature may be confidently assumed. In times when an attempt was made to convert the, whole Egyptian religion into Sun-worship, the figure of the sparrow-hawk proper was equivalent to the sign for neter, “god”, and similarly the figure of the uraeus serpent was equivalent to the sign for neteret, “goddess”. We have no ancient information as to how the hawk or falcon came to be associated with the sun; bak, which is the Egyptian name of the bird, has no philological connexion with the heavenly body.132 It is a plausible conjecture, though it may be nothing more, that “the falcon-god Horus, originally, it would seem, the local totem-god of Behdet in the Delta, became in pre-dynastic times the national god of Lower Egypt, simply because the falcon tribe acquired an ascendancy over the other tribes of the Delta. Later still, on the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, he became the national god of the united country, and it was doubtless then that he was given a new home at Behdet of Upper Egypt, the modern Edfu”133

Horus the Sun-god and Horus the son of Osiris and Isis.

Different forms of the Horus the Sun-god

In Egyptian mythology it is necessary to distinguish Horus the Sun-god from Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis. Originally these two deities, both named Horus, appear to have had nothing in common, but in later times an attempt was made to blend them into one, and to liken the war which Horus the Sun-god waged on the powers of darkness to the long combat in which Horus, the son of Osiris, engaged with Set the murderer of his divine father. Generally speaking, the Sun-god Horus can be distinguished from his namesake, the son of Osiris, by the possession of certain titles which varied with the provinces or cities in which he was worshipped. In course of time each of the different forms of the Sun-god Horus; discriminated from the rest by a distinctive epithet, came to be regarded as an independent divinity, and we often find several such duplicate deities worshipped contemporaneously, as if they had no relation to each other, in the later periods of Egyptian history.134 Among these various forms of Horus the Sun-god the following may be particularly noted.

Horus the Elder (Arueris).

Her-ur, that is, “Horus the Elder”, whom the Greeks called Arueris and identified with their Apollo.135 His mother was the goddess Hathor: he was born at Apollinopolis Parva, and he was especially worshipped at Latopolis, near Memphis. A great temple was also dedicated to him at Ombos in Upper Egypt. He was represented as a man with a hawk's head or simply as a hawk.136 But in some places he was worshipped in the form of a lion. The inscriptions on the walls of the temple at Ombos prove that he was called the Lord of the South, the Lord of Nubti (Ombos), and that he was identified with Shu, the son of Ra, and with several other gods who were regarded as gods of light and of the rising Sun in various of his aspects.137

Horus the Younger (Harpocrates).

Horus the Elder was distinguished from Horus the Younger or Horus the Child, Her - pe - khred, whom the Greeks called Harpocrates. This Horus the Younger was the son of Osiris and Isis; but he could not escape the fate of the Egyptian gods, who were regularly attracted to the sun like moths to the flame of a candle, and in after times he was identified with the young Sun just risen above the horizon.138

Horus of the Two Eyes.

Her-mer-ti, “Horus of the Two Eyes”, that is, of the Sun and Moon. He was called Lord of Shedennu, a city of Lower Egypt; in art he was represented as a man with a hawk's head and above it the solar disk encircled by the uraeus serpent, and in his hand he bore a certain symbol (utchati) in which two eyes appear side by side.139

The Blind Horus.

Her-khent-an-ma, “Horus, Lord of Not Seeing”, a god of Latapolis who was supposed to be blind and to symbolize an eclipse of the sun. The shrew-mouse was sacred to the Blind Horus because it was thought to be blind, and also because darkness is older than light. The little creature was said to be born of ordinary mice in the fifth generation at new moon, and its liver was supposed to diminish in size during a lunar eclipse.140

Horus on the Two Horizons (Harmachis).

The great Sphinx

The history of its dedication: the dreams of Thothmes

Her-em-khu-ti, the Harmachis of the Greeks, “Horus on the Two Horizons”, that is, the eastern and the western horizon, so that the name signifies Horus at his rising and at his setting. Sometimes he was designated simply Her-em-khu, “Horus on the Horizon”, and then represented especially the god of the rising sun. He was easily and commonly identified with the ordinary Sun-god Ra in his daily course across the sky. In that capacity he was styled “the Great God, the Lord of heaven, Ra Harmachis”. He appears in this form as god of Heliopolis, where he was associated with a wife named Iû-s-âas. He played a prominent part also in the city of Tanis, in the far east of the Delta, on the Asiatic frontier. But the greatest and most famous monument dedicated to his worship is the huge Sphinx, near the pyramids of Gizeh, which was his type and symbol. According to the inscriptions, this colossal figure was in existence in the days of King Khephren (Khafra), who built the second pyramid at Gizeh.141 But curiously enough no mention of this monstrous monument occurs in the inscriptions until the reign of Thothmes or Thutmose the Fourth (about 1420–1411 B.C.). An inscription engraved on a tablet near the Sphinx records how in his youth, long before his father's death, Thothmes was one day hunting and in the ardour of the chase was carried out into the desert near the pyramids of Gizeh. There, overcome with weariness and the noonday heat he lay down to rest in the shadow of the great Sphinx. He fell asleep, and as he slept he dreamed a dream. It seemed to him that the Sun-god, with whom in those days the Sphinx was identified, appeared, to him and besought him to clear away the desert sand which had drifted against his image and had partially buried it. As a reward for this pious labour the Sun-god promised him the kingdom. The prince vowed to do as the great god desired, and no sooner did he come to the throne than he hastened to perform his vow. He cleared the gigantic figure of the Sphinx from the drifted sand, and he recorded the whole story on a tablet in the neighbourhood. A later version of the tale, made by the priests of the palace, was engraved on a huge granite architrave taken from the neighbouring temple and set up against the breast of the Sphinx between its fore-legs, where it stands to this day.142

The Golden Horus.

Her-nub, “the Golden Horus”, was primarily the god of the morning sun, who manifested himself in the golden glory of the dawn. He was thus the counterpart of the Golden Hathor, the goddess of the western sky, who received the dying sun in the sunset glow and was hence supposed to receive the dead on their departure from the upper world. In this capacity the Golden Hathor was usually represented emerging from the Mountain of the West. From of old the Pharaohs, who always sought to pose as the Sun on earth, greatly affected the title of “the Golden Horus”, and their public appearances were commonly described as the breaking forth of light by the use of a word which also signified the sunrise.143

The Sun-god Tum or Atum of Heliopolis.

Pa Tum (Pithom). “the House of Tum”.

The Sun-god Tum or Atum was originally the local god of Heliopolis, and in the dynastic period at all events he was held to be a form of the great Sun-god Ra and to personify the setting sun in contradistinction to Khepera, the morning sun. He was adored at Heliopolis as Lord of the World and the great Creator. In the Book of the Dead he is called “Creator of heaven, maker of beings, procreator of all that is; He who gave birth to the gods; self-created; Lord of Life; He who grants new strength to the gods”. His worship was intimately associated with the Egyptian doctrine of immortality. But in regard to this life also he was a beneficent deity: from before him went forth the north wind that brought cool airs to the dry and dusty land during the hot Egyptian summer, and to breathe its sweet breath was reckoned one of the passionate desires of the dead. Another centre of the worship of Tum was Pa Tum, “the House of Tum”, the Pithom of the Old Testament, the ruins of which were discovered by the eminent Swiss Egyptologist, M. Édouard Naville, in 1883, at Tell el Maskhûtah, cast of the Delta. In the papyri and the monuments Tum is usually represented as a man wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt; in his right hand he holds the emblem of life, and in his left hand the sceptre. In the boat of Ra he is depicted in human form even when Ra is symbolized by a disk which is being rolled along by a beetle, and when the Sun-god Khepera is portrayed by a beetle, Originally Tum had no divine consort, but in one of the later texts, from Denderah, there is mention of a goddess Tumt, the feminine form of Tum; the text says that she was worshipped at Bubastis.144

The Sun-god Ra identified with Amon the local god of Thebes.

The temples of Amon-Ra at Thebes (Karnak).

But the identification which carried with it the most far-reaching consequences for Egyptian religion was that of the Sun-god Ra with Amon (Ammon), the local god of Thebes in Upper Egypt. In the most ancient times of Egyptian history Thebes was an obscure provincial town, so insignificant that its god Amon is hardly mentioned in the oldest religious texts. It was not until the time of the Middle Kingdom, when two Theban families came to the throne, that something was done for the glory of the local god, and with him his consort Mut began to emerge from her obscurity. But the great day for the gods of Thebes dawned with the beginning of the New Kingdom (about 1600 B.C.). During the confusion which followed the close of the twelfth dynasty and continued under the rule of the foreign conquerors, the Hyksos, Thebes was the capital of a princely house, which, by a brilliant stroke of policy, identified its local god Amon with the great Sun-god Ra, and so worshipped the composite deity under the name of Amon-Ra. When this royal family succeeded in expelling the Hyksos and bringing the whole of Egypt under their sway, it was inevitable that Amon-Ra, “the King of the Gods”, should become the official god of the whole kingdom. Under the great and warlike kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty the dominion of Egypt stretched from the Euphrates to the Sudan, and with it the fame of Amon-Ra, the patron god of the conquerors, spread far and wide. From the riches, which in the form of tribute, flowed into their treasury the Pharaohs of that and the following dynasties testified their gratitude for their victories by rearing in honour of Amon-Ra at Thebes (Karnak) the gigantic temples which, enlarged by the labours and the wealth of successive generations, remain to this day the wonder of the world, the most colossal shrines which the hands of men have ever dedicated on earth to the glory of God. And in other cities also the kings caused new temples to be erected to the Sun-god, that men everywhere might pay their devotion to his supreme majesty. For a thousand years this hybrid deity stood at the head of the Egyptian pantheon.145

Amon of Thebes originally a ram-god.

Annual sacrifice of a ram at Thebes and identification of the god with the ram.

In truth, he was a curious hybrid, compounded out of the sun and a ram, since Amon, the local god of Thebes, appears to have been of old a ram and nothing else. For the sheep was sacred and worshipped at Thebes, as cats, crocodiles, lions, wolves, monkeys, and the rest of the divine menagerie were sacred and worshipped in other parts of Egypt; indeed, whoever adored the Theban god in any part of the kingdom was bound to spare the life of the sheep as a holy animal.146 The god himself was represented in the form of a ram or of a man with a ram's head, or of a man with the horns of a ram, wearing the solar disk. The avenues leading to his temples at Thebes were flanked on either side by colossal figures of rams with coiled or curved horns, that being the species of the animal which was especially sacred to the god, or rather in which he was supposed to be incarnate.147 But though the people of Thebes did not usually sacrifice rams, deeming them sacred, nevertheless on one day of the year, at the god's festival, they killed a ram, skinned it, and clothed the image of the god in the skin of the slaughtered beast. Thereupon all the people in the temple lamented for the ram, beating their breasts, after which they buried the carcase in a sacred coffin.148 In this custom the god seems clearly to be identified with the ram by being clothed in the animal's skin, and the divinity of the ram is in like manner plainly indicated by the lamentations for his death and by the burial of his dead body in a sacred coffin. The intention of the rite probably was to renew the strength of the god once a year by communicating to his image, and thereby to himself, the vigour of a live ram, the creature in which his divine spirit was believed to be incarnate.149 The supposed necessity of thus annually renewing the strength of the god will be manifest when we remember that in the opinion of the Egyptians the gods in general and the Sun-god in particular were subject to the weakness and decrepitude of old age.

The Sun-god identified with Chnum (Chnubis), the ram-god of Elephantine.

To this notion we shall return presently. Meantime it deserves to be noticed that Thebes was not the only place where the Sun-god was identified with a deity who would seem originally to have been neither more nor less than a ram. The god Chnum or Chnubis, as the Greeks called him, who was worshipped in Elephantine, the city situated at the First Cataract in Upper Egypt, was represented on the oldest monuments as a man with a ram's head, the horns projecting horizontally from the temples and not curved downwards, like the horns of the ram Amon. The two rams, thus distinguished from each other, clearly belonged to different species.150 According to Brugsch, the god was represented at his sanctuaries by a living ram in which the soul of the deity was believed to reside; the animal was chosen from the flock on purpose to serve as the god's incarnation.151 But in course of time the ram of Chnum, like that of Amon, was identified with the Sun-god Ra; hence at Abaton, near Philae, a little south of Elephantine, the sacred ram of Chnum was called the “living soul of Ra”.152 Hence, too, in Egyptian inscriptions from the sixteenth century B.C. onwards his name was coupled with that of Ra in the compound of Chnum-Ra to indicate the divine partnership, or rather identity, of the two gods; and the composite nature of the hybrid deity was graphically indicated by portraying him as a man with a ram's head surmounted by the solar disk. His worship prevailed especially in the south of Egypt.153

The divine ram perhaps a totem.

If, as there is some ground for thinking, the religion of the primitive Egyptians was saturated with totemism,154 we can easily understand why a ram should have been worshipped as a sacred animal at Thebes in Lower Egypt and at Elephantine in Upper Egypt; in both places the ram may originally have been the totem of the ruling clan.

Hymn to Amon-Ra, the Sun-god.

The power and glory of Amon-Ra are celebrated in hymns which attempt to make up by fulsome flattery for their lack of poetical inspiration. For example, in a long hymn of the Twentieth Dynasty, which is now preserved in the museum of Gizeh, the god is addressed as follows:

Praise to Amon-Ra!

To the bull in Heliopolis, to the chief of all the gods,

To the beautiful and beloved god,

Who giveth life by all manner of warmth, by

All manner of fair cattle.

Hail to Thee, Amon-Ra, lord of the throne of the two lands,

Dwelling in Thebes,

Husband of his Mother, dwelling in his fields,

Wide-ranging, dwelling in the Land of the South,

Lord of the Libyans, ruler of Arabia (Pûnt),

Prince of heaven, heir of earth,

The lord who giveth duration to things, duration to all things.”155

In the same hymn he is called “the chief of all the gods, maker of men, former of the flocks, lord of the things which are”:

The gods give praise unto him;

Maker of things below and things above, he illumines

The two lands, he traverseth the upper heaven in peace;

King of Upper and Lower Egypt.”156

Still in the same hymn he is described as

Hearing the prayer of him who is in affliction,

Kindly of heart towards him who calleth upon him.

He delivereth the timid from him who is of a froward heart;

He judgeth the cause of the poor, between the poor and the mighty,

He is the lord of understanding, plenty is on his lips.

He cometh as the Nile to those who love him.

Lord of sweetness, a great one of love.”157

In the same hymn the god's creative power is extolled as follows:

Only form, who didst make all that is, one and only one, maker of all that have being!

Mankind went forth front his two eyes,

The gods were created on his lips.

He maketh the herbage which maketh the cattle to live,

The fruit trees for men;

He maketh to live the fishes in the river,

The fowls beneath the sky.

He giveth breath to that which is its the egg;

He maketh the grasshoppers to live,

He maketh the birds to live,

The creeping things and the flying, as well as what belongeth to them.

He maketh provision for the mice in their holes;

He maketh to live the birds in every tree,

Hail to thee, maker of all these!

Hail to thee from all flocks,

Acclamations to thee from every land,

To the height of heaven, to the width of earth,

To the depth of the sea.

The gods bow before thy majesty;

They exalt the spirits of him who formed them,

They rejoice at the comings of him who begat them;

They say unto thee: ‘Approach in peace,

Father of the fathers of all the gods,

Thou who upholdest the heaven and puttest down the earth’…

King is he when alone even as in the midst of the gods;

Many are his names, none knoweth their number; he riseth in the horizon of the east, he setteth in the horizon of the west;

He overthroweth his enemies

Hail to thee, Amon-Ra, lord of the throne of the two lands!

Whose city loveth his rising.”158

Representations of Amon-Ra in art.

Amon-Ra is generally represented in human form with a human head; he holds either the sceptre alone or the sceptre in the left hand and the symbol of life (ankh) in the right, and he is crowned with the solar disk and two long feathers, which rise either from a stiff cap or else from a pair of ram's horns. The sections of the plumes are coloured alternately red and green or red and blue. His body is sometimes coloured blue, probably because that was the colour of the sky in which he ruled as Sun-god. It is to be noted that the horns which he wears are those of Chnum rather than of Amon, since they stand out horizontally from the head instead of curling round the ears. Sometimes he is given the head of a hawk surmounted by the solar disk with the uracus serpent coiled round it. Again, in many scenes he is portrayed with the head of a ram and above it the solar disk, plumes, and uraeus serpent.159

Mut, the wife of Amon-Ra.

The principal wife of Amon-Ra, the king of the Gods, in the New Empire was Mut, whose name means “Mother”. In one, at least, of her aspects she appears to have been conceived as the great World-mother, who brought forth whatever exists. Her relation to the Sun-god seems to have been somewhat uncertain. In a late text she is described as “the Mother of the Sun, in whom he rises”; but in the city of Samhud she was held to be the daughter of Ra. In pictures the goddess is usually represented as a woman wearing on her head the united crowns of the South and the North, and holding in her hands the papyrus sceptre and the symbol of life. Elsewhere we see her in female form, standing upright with her arms stretched out at full length and with large wings attached to them. The chief centre of her worship was Asher, a place south of Karnak (Thebes). Here King Amenophis the Third built a temple to her, with a sacred lake attached to it. Votive statues representing the goddess with the head of a lioness, both standing and seated, were dedicated there by the founder and by King Sheshonk the First (the Shishak of the Bible) in such numbers that even in ancient times many were transferred to other Egyptian sanctuaries, and in modern times almost every great museum of the world possesses one or more of them. Such a representation appears to imply a warlike character in the goddess.160

Rise of the priesthood of Amon-Ra at Thebes in power and wealth acquired by foreign conquest.

Fortified by his association with the Sun-god Ra and by the support of the reigning dynasty, the once obscure and insignificant deity Amon of Thebes rose in the course of about a century to the rank of “the King of the Gods” of Egypt. Under the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties the wealth of the Theban priests must have been enormous, and the religious and social influence which they wielded was such as to render them formidable rivals of the royal house. The golden age of the Theban temples and priesthood began with the Asiatic expeditions of the eighteenth dynasty. Indeed, there is some ground for suspecting that the great Egyptian raids, both to the north in Syria and to the south in Nubia, were dictated as much by the desire of enriching the temples and the priests as by the ambition of extending the glory and prestige of the empire. The slavish homage which the Thothmes (Thutmose) kings and the Ramessids paid to Amon-Ra, and the lavish gifts which they showered on his sanctuaries, suggest that behind the stately figureheads of the kings it was the pious, but not altogether unworldly, ecclesiastics who pulled the real strings of war and peace.161 Of the prodigal liberality with which the kings heaped wealth on the religious establishments some of them have bequeathed to us exact records. Thus King Seti the First (about 1320 B.C.) tells us that “he gave to his Father Amon-Ra, the silver, gold, lapis lazuli, malachite, and all the precious stones which he had got as booty in the wretched land of Syria”. The sculptures which accompany and illustrate this inscription show that among the booty were the splendid vessels, fashioned of precious metals in fantastic forms, which were in that age the much-admired handiwork of Syrian goldsmiths.162

Munificent benefactions of Rameses III. to the temple of Amon-Ra at Thebes.

But all other records of pious munificence are cast into the shade by the roll known as the great Harris papyrus, some hundred and thirty-three feet long, in which are set forth the benefactions which King Rameses the Third (about 1200 B.C.) conferred on Egyptian sanctuaries during his long reign of thirty-one years. They include one hundred and sixty-nine cities, of which nine were in Syria and Ethiopia; more than a hundred thousand slaves; nearly half a million head of cattle; more than five hundred vineyards and gardens; more than two thousand seven hundred images of gods; and many thousand vessels of gold, silver, and bronze; not to mention many millions of less precious offerings. Of the royal bounty, Amon-Ra at Thebes appears to have appropriated the lion's share, for we know that in the reign of this generous benefactor the god's temple in that city owned more than eighty thousand slaves, more than four hundred thousand head of cattle, hundreds of thousands of acres of cornland, four hundred and thirty-three vineyards and orchards, fifty-six cities in Egypt, and the whole of the nine foreign cities which were allocated to the service of Egyptian religion. Thus the patrimony of the great god of Thebes far surpassed that of all his brother and sister deities in Egypt. It was at least five times as great as that of the Sun-god Ra at Heliopolis, and it was ten times greater than that of Ptah at Memphis; yet in the early ages of the kingdom, the gods of Heliopolis and Memphis had been reckoned among the wealthiest divinities of Egypt. We can understand the force of attraction exercised by a deity so richly dowered with the goods of this world, since, by ensuring him the means of conquest, they at the same time demonstrated the reality and power of his divinity beyond the reach of cavil.163 No wonder that, fostered by endowments beside which the revenues of the wealthiest monasteries of the Middle Ages in Europe must appear almost insignificant, the great religious foundations at Thebes should have reared to the greater glory of God those gigantic temples at Karnak to which no other country and no other age in the history of the world can present a parallel.164

Usurpation of kingly power by the High Priests of Amon-Ra at Thebes: the dynasty of priestly kings.

But towards the close of the twentieth dynasty a decline set in; a paralysis seems to have struck the line of Rameses. The later kings of that dynasty led no armies into foreign lands: they neglected even the Delta, Memphis, and Ethiopia, and what little activity they displayed, was devoted to the service of the gods of Thebes. No longer enriched by the spoils of conquest, the treasury of Amon-Ra was drained to supply the wants of the vast religious establishment: poverty stared the clergy in the face. To replenish their empty coffers the priests wrested from the feeble and degenerate successor of Rameses the Third the right of levying taxes on the Theban people and of appropriating to the service of God certain of the revenues of the city. Finally, when the last Rameses had been gathered to his fathers, the high priest of Amon-Ra, grasping at the show as well as the substance of power, made himself king of Egypt and so became the founder of the twenty-first dynasty, the dynasty of the priestly kings.165

The theocracy and the female pope, the earthly wife of Amon-Ra.

Under the ghostly sway of these Theban popes, who, like their brethren of Rome in the Middle Ages, combined the spiritual with the temporal power, the central Egyptian government assumed the form of a theocracy. For the real rulers, the high priests of Amon-Ra, masked their rescripts under the guise of oracles of the god, who, with the help of a little pious jugglery, complacently signified his assent to their wishes by nodding his head or even by speech. But oddly enough the papal power was wielded, nominally at least, not by the pope himself but by a woman, the earthly consort of Amon-Ra. Her office was hereditary, passing by rights from mother to daughter. But probably the entail was often broken by the policy or ambition of the men who stood behind the scenes and worked the oracle by hidden wires for the edification of the multitude. Certainly we know that on one occasion King Psammetichus the First foisted his own daughter into the holy office by dedicating her to Amon under a hypocritical profession of gratitude for favours bestowed on him by the deity. And the female pope had to submit to the intrusion with the best grace she could assume, protesting her affection for the adopted daughter who had ousted her own daughter from the throne. When kings reigned at Thebes, the wife of the god was either the queen or a princess.166

The Queen of Egypt believed to be the wife of the Sun-god and to be impregnated by him.

Not only was the Queen of Egypt usually the wife of the Sun-god, but she was believed to be actually impregnated by him and in consequence to give birth to a son, who was no other than the king of Egypt; for from the fifth dynasty onward the king was styled the Son of Ra and was believed to have been physically begotten by the Sun-god.167 The divine marriage, the birth of the royal infant, and his or her recognition by the gods are carved and painted in great detail on the walls of two ancient temples, one at Deir el Bahari and the other at Luxor; and the inscriptions attached to the sculptures leave no doubt as to the meaning of the scenes. The sculptures at Deir el Bahari, which represent the begetting and birth of Queen Hatshopsitou (Hatshepsut), are the older and have been reproduced with but little change at Luxor, where they represent the begetting and birth of King Amenophis the Third. There is a prologue in heaven, in which the god summons his assessors, the deities of Heliopolis, and reveals to them the future birth of a new Pharaoh, a royal princess, and requests them to make ready the fluid of life and of strength, whereof they are the masters. Then the god is seen approaching the queen's bed-chamber: the mystery of incarnation takes place: Amon-Ra lays aside his godhead and becomes flesh in the likeness of the king, the human spouse of the queen. The union of the two follows immediately. On a bed of state the king and queen appear sitting opposite each other, with their legs crossed. The queen receives from her husband the symbols of life and strength, while two goddesses, the patronesses of matrimony, support the feet of the couple and guard them from harm. The text which encloses the scene sets forth clearly the mystic union of the human with the divine: “Thus saith Amon-Ra, king of the gods, lord of Karnak, he who rules over Thebes, when he took the form of this male, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Thothmes the First, giver of life. He found the queen when she lay in the glory of her palace. She awoke at the fragrance of the god and marvelled at it. Straightway His Majesty went towards her, took possession of her, placed his heart in her, and shewed himself to her in his divine form.” Further he announces the birth of her daughter, the future queen.168

The kings of Egypt supposed to be the offspring of the Sun-god.

It was therefore much more than an idle compliment, a piece of courtly flattery, when the ancient Egyptians spoke of their kings as the offspring of the Sun-god. They really looked upon them as divine Sons of a divine Father. “It has never been doubted that the king claimed actual divinity; he was the ‘great god’, the ‘golden Horus’, and son of Ra. He claimed authority not only over Egypt, but over ‘all lands and nations’, ‘the whole world in its length and its breadth, the cast and the west’, ‘the entire compass of the great circuit of the sun’, ‘the sky and what is in it, the earth and all that is upon it’, ‘every creature that walks upon two or upon four legs, all that fly or flutter, the whole world offers her productions to him’. Whatever in fact might be asserted of the Sun-god was dogmatically predicable of the king of Egypt. His titles were directly derived from those of the Sun-god.”169

Devotion of Amenophis IV. to the worship of the Sun and his attempt to establish solar monotheism, the worship of the Sun's disk under the name of Aton.

Of all the kings of Egypt none displayed so fervent, so fanatical a devotion to the worship of the Sun as a king of the eighteenth dynasty, the famous Amenophis (Amenhotep) the Fourth, who reigned from about 1380 to 1362 B.C.170 But his devotion took a heretical turn. A philosophic dreamer, absorbed in the contemplation of the divine and engrossed in a visionary scheme of a religious reformation, which was to sweep away all the barbarous and monstrous gods of his country and replace them by a pure monotheism, the worship of the Sun as the only god, he frittered away his short life in a vain attempt to elevate his people to the contemplative heights at which he loved to expatiate in thought, while his kingdom fell into disorder and his Syrian empire crumbled away under the pressure of the new and formidable empire of the Hittites, which was now rising, like a dark and menacing cloud, on the northern horizon. The old titles and effigies of the Sun-god were abolished. Instead of the many names in which he had hitherto rejoiced, he was to be known henceforth by the simple name of Aton, which signified the solar disk. He was no longer permitted to prance about with the legs of a man and the head of a ram or a hawk. Truth to nature was now the watchword of the reformation, and after all what is the sun to our eyes but a bright disk with beams radiating from it? Accordingly a bright disk with beams radiating from it was to be thenceforth the sole image of the Sun: the shocking impiety of likening him to a man or a beast was no longer to be tolerated. But as a slight concession to human weakness the sunbeams were provided with human hands, which they extended in an affectionate manner towards their orthodox worshippers. The pattern of orthodoxy was naturally set by the king, and on the monuments of his time he and his wife are often represented thus basking in the rays of the divine Sun. But nevertheless the Sun was still so far personified that he passed for the father of the king. In his inscriptions Amenophis the Fourth repeatedly refers to him as “Aton my father”.

Command of the king to destroy the images and to erase the names of all the other gods, especially the name of Amon-Ra.

The king changed his own name to Ikhnaton.

In his zeal for the unity of God, the king commanded to erase the names of all other gods from the monuments, and to destroy their images. Singularly enough, the rage of the reformer was particularly directed against Amon or Amon-Ra, who, on account of the close alliance which, in his capacity of a ram, he had struck up with the Sun, might well have been spared the indignities to which he was now subjected. But no, he had to go with the rest of the old-fashioned deities. Even the sanctity of the grave was not respected, masons scoured the cemetery of Thebes and hammered out the obnoxious name of Amon wherever it appeared on the tombs. The long rows of statues of the high and noble, memorials of Egypt's ancient but now fast vanishing glories, ranged in silent and solemn grandeur along the walls of the great temple at Karnak, were similarly mutilated by the erasure of the once honoured name. Stone-cutters climbed to the tops of the lofty obelisks and chipped away the name of Amon even on the apex. Worse still, the name of the king's own father Amenophis (Amenhotep) had to be effaced on his monuments because it contained the name of Amon. Even the private apartments of the late monarch in his splendid palace at Thebes were invaded and the king's name erased from the sumptuous decorations of the walls, leaving unsightly gaps where the mason's chisel had struck out the royal cartouche. The name of the reformer himself suffered from precisely the same defect; for was not he too an Amenophis? The sensitive king felt the name like a blot on his scutcheon, and he changed it for one in which the new name of the deity figured instead. He was henceforth known as Ikhnaton, which means “Aton is satisfied”, or “He with whom Aton is satisfied”.171

The capital of Egypt shifted by the royal reformer from Thebes to Tell-el-Amarna.

Life in the new capital: the king in the pulpit.

Thebes itself, the ancient capital of his glorious ancestors, full of the monuments of their piety and idolatry, was no longer a fit home for the puritan king. Perhaps as he looked westward at evening from his palace window, and saw the sun, which he worshipped, setting behind the mountains, the long line of the royal tombs in the deep shadows below might seem to reproach him silently for the outrage he had committed on the dead, his ancestors, who slept in these solemn mausoleums. Be that as it may, he deserted Thebes and built himself a new capital, which he called Akhetaton, “Horizon of Aton”, situated some three hundred miles lower down the river, at the place now known as Tell-el-Amarna. It is a fine and spacious bay in the cliffs which hem in the valley. Here in a few years a city of palaces and gardens rose like an exhalation at his command, and here the king, his dearly loved wife and children, and his complaisant courtiers led a merry life. The Sun-god was worshipped with songs and hymns, with the music of harps and flutes, with offerings of cakes and fruits and flowers. Blood seldom stained his kindly altars. The king himself celebrated the offices of religion. He preached with unction, and we may be sure that his courtiers listened with at least an outward semblance of devotion. From the too faithful portraits of himself which he has bequeathed to us we can still picture to ourselves the heretic king in the pulpit, with his tall, gaunt figure, his bandy legs, his pot belly, his long, lean, haggard face, aglow with the fever of religious fanaticism. Yet “the doctrine”, as he loved to call it, was apparently no stern message of renunciation in this world, of terrors in the world to come. The thoughts of death, of judgment, and of a life beyond the grave, which weighed like a nightmare on the minds of the Egyptians, seem to have been banished for a time. Even the name of Osiris, the awful judge of the dead, is not once mentioned in the graves at Tell-el-Amarna. So life at Akhetaton glided peacefully away in a round of religious ceremonies and pious meditation. Rumours of war and prayers for help from hard-pressed vassals fell unheeded on the ears of the devout monarch; like the muttering of distant thunder, they were drowned in the noise of psalmody and the music of harps and flutes.

Reaction after the death of the reformer.

But the reformation, so fondly inaugurated, was brief and transient; it hardly outlasted the life of the reformer. His death was followed by a violent reaction. The old gods were reinstated in their rank and privileges: their names and images were restored, and new temples were built. But all the shrines and palaces reared by the heretic king were thrown down, even the sculptures that referred to him and to his god in rock-tombs and on the sides of hills were erased or filled up with stucco: his name appears on no later monument, and was carefully omitted from all official lists. The new capital was abandoned, never to be inhabited again. Its plan can still be traced in the sands of the desert.172

Hymns to the Sun-god Aton.

Of all the surviving monuments of this attempted reformation, the most remarkable are the hymns addressed to the Sun-god under his new name of Aton. Two of them, which have been found engraved on the tombs of nobles, may perhaps have been composed by the king himself; if so he may rank, like David in Israel, as the sweet singer of Egypt. A portion of one of them may serve as a specimen of a hymn which has been compared to the hundred and fourth psalm.

Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of the sky,

O living Aton, Beginning of life!

When thou risest in the eastern horizon,

Thou fillest every land with thy beauty.

Thou art beautiful, great, glittering, high above every land,

Thy rays, they encompass the lands, even all that thou hast made.

Thou art Ra, and thou carriest them all away captive;

Thou bindest them by thy love.

Though thou art far away, thy rays are upon earth;

Though thou art on high, thy footprints are the day.

When thou settest in the western horizon of the sky,

The earth is in darkness like the dead;

They sleep in their chambers,

Their heads are wrapped up,

Their nostrils are stopped,

And none seeth the other,

While all their things are stolen,

Which are under their heads,

And they know it not.

Every lion cometh forth from his den,

All serpents, they sting. Darkness

The world is in silence,

He that made than resteth in his horizon.

Bright is the earth when thou risest in the horizon.

When thou shinest as Aton by day

Thou drivest away the darkness.

Hymn to the Sun-god Aton.

When thou sendest forth thy rays,

The Two Lands (Egypt) are in daily festivity,

Awake and standing upon their feet

When thou hast raised them up.

Their limbs bathed, they take their clothing,

Their arms uplifted in adoration to thy dawning,

Then in all the world they do their work.

All cattle rest upon their pasturage,

The trees and the plants flourish,

The birds flutter in their marshes,

Their wings uplifted in adoration to thee.

All the sheep dance upon their feet,

All the winged things fly,

They live when thou hast shone upon them.

The barques sail up-stream and down-stream alike.

Every highway is open because thou dawnest.

The fish in the river leap up before thee.

Thy rays are in the midst of the great green sea.

Creator of the germ in woman,

Maker of seed in man,

Giving life to the son in are body of his mother,

Soothing him that he may not weep,

Nurse even in the womb.

Giver of breath to animate every one that he maketh!

When he cometh forth from the wombon the day of his birth,

Thou openest his mouth in speech,

Thou suppliest his necessities.

When the fledgling in the egg chirps in the shell,

Thou givest him breath therein to preserve him alive.

When thou hast brought him together

To the point of bursting it in the egg,

He cometh forth from the egg

To chirp with all his might.

He goeth about upon his two feet

When he hath come forth therefrom.

How manifold art thy works!

They are hidden from before us,

O sole God, whose powers no other possesseth,

Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart

While thou wast alone:

Men, all cattle large and small,

All that are upon the earth,

That go about upon their feet

All that are on high,

That fly with their wings.

Hymn to the Sun-god Aton.

The foreign countries, Syria and Kush,

The land of Egypt,

Thou settest every man into his place,

Thou suppliest their necessities.

Every one has his possessions,

And his days are reckoned.

The tongues are divers in speech,

Their forms likewise and their skins are distinguished

For thou makest different the strangers

Thy rays nourish every garden;

When thou risest they live,

They grow by thee.

Thou makest the seasons

In order to create all thy work:

Winter to bring them coolness,

And heat that they may taste thee.

Thou didst make the distant sky to rise therein,

In order to behold all that thou hast made,

Thou alone, shining in thy form its living Aton,

Dawning, glittering, going afar and returning.

Thou makest millions of forms

Through thyself alone;

Cities, towns, and tribes, highways and rivers.

All eyes see thee before them,

For thou art Aton of the day over the earth…

Thou art in my heart,

There is no-other that knoweth thee

Save thy son Ikhnaton.

Thou hast made hint wise

In thy designs and in thy might.

The world is in thy hand,

Even as thou hast made them.

When thou hast risen they live,

When thou settest they die;

For thou art length of life of thyself,

Men live through thee,

While their eyes are upon thy beauty

Until then settest.

All labour is put away

When thou settest in the west.”173

In another hymn of the reformed religion we read:

It is the breath of life in the nostrils to behold thy rays.

All flowers live and what grows in the soil

Is made to grow because thou dawnest,

They are drunken before thee.

All cattle skip upon their feet;

The birds in the marsh fly with joy,

Their wings that were folded are spread.

Uplifted in adoration to the living Aton.”174

Devotion of the Queen to the Sun-god.

The king's wife, Queen Nofretete, with whom he appears to have lived on terms of warm affection, and who is depicted on his monuments adoring in his company the disk of the Sun and blessed by his radiant glory,175 shared his devotion to that great deity. She gave expression to her reverence in the following prayer:

The Queen's prayer.

“Thou disk of the Sun, thou living god! there is none other beside thee! Thou givest health to the eyes through thy beams, Creator of all beings. Thou goest up on the eastern horizon of the heaven, to dispense life to all which thou hast created; to man, four-footed beasts, birds, and all manner of creeping things on the earth, where they live. Thus they behold thee, and they go to sleep when thou settest. Grant to thy son, who loves thee, life in truth, to the Lord of the land, that he may live united with thee in eternity. Behold his-wife, the Queen Nofer-i-Thi [Nofretete]. May she live for evermore and eternally by his side, well-pleasing to thee: she admires what thou hast created day by day. He (the king) rejoices at the sight of thy benefits, grant him a long existence as king of the land!”176

Vain prayer! The hand of death may already have been on the sickly and emaciated king. Cut off in the flower of his age, he soon slept in a rock-cut tomb in a lonely valley, where one of his daughters had been laid to her last rest before him177

Other prayers to the Sun-god

Carved on stones of the deserted capital have been found prayers addressed to the Sun-god by lesser mortals, who shared in the devotion of their royal master to the new deity, and assisted him by their labours in various capacities. One of the humbler devotees was the king's steward, another his architect named Bek. The steward prays thus to the setting Sun:

The steward's prayer to the Setting Sun.

The sculptor's prayer.

“Beautiful is thy setting, thou Sun's disk of life, thou lord of lords, and king of the worlds. When thou unitest thyself with the heaven at thy setting, mortals rejoice before thy countenance, and give honour to him who has created them, and pray before him who has formed them, before the glance of thy son, who loves thee, the King Khunaten [Ikhnaton]. The whole land of Egypt and all peoples repeat thy names at thy rising, to magnify thy rising in like manner as thy setting. Thou, O God, who in truth art the living one, standest before the two eyes. Thou art he which createst what never was, which formest everything, which art in all things; we also have come into being through the word of thy mouth. Give me favour before the king for ever; let there not be wanting to me a peaceful burial after attaining old age in the land of Khu-aten, when I shall have finished my course of life in a good state.”178 With the steward's prayer we may compare the epitaph on the architect's tombstone. On the stone the figures of the architect and his wife are seen standing in a niche. On the right-hand side runs an inscription: “A royal sacrifice to Hormakhu, the sun's disk, who enlightens the world; that he may vouchsafe to accept the customary offerings of the dead on the altar of the living sun's disk, in favour of the overseer of the sculptors from life, and of his wife, the lady Tahir”. On the left-hand side of the stone is the inscription: “A royal offering to the living sun's disk, which enlightens the world by its benefactions, in order that it may vouchsafe a perfectly complete good life, united with the reward of honour, joy of heart, and a beautiful old age, in favour of the artist of the king, the sculptor of the lord of the land, the follower of the divine benefactor, Bek”179

Before concluding this sketch of Sun-worship in ancient Egypt we must quit the speculative heights, on which the contemplative genius of the royal reformer loved to dwell, and plunge once more down to the level of those ruder ages and grosser minds which personified the Sun-god in myths redolent of human limitations, passions, and frailties.

The Sun-god Ra deemed the first king of Egypt.

The Sun-god Ra was regarded by the Egyptians, not only as a solar deity, but also as the first king of Egypt. In early times the people seem to have held this notion with a tenacity which no theological subtleties, no priestly refinements availed to shake. Not until later ages did Ra yield his place in popular favour to Osiris, the model of Egyptian kings, and even then he was not entirely deposed; for while Osiris was believed to have ruled as a man over men only, the reign of Ra was relegated to a time when gods still sojourned among men, and the Sun-god ruled over both.180

Antiquity of the reign of Ra.

Humanity of Ra.

The reign of Ra was placed in the remotest antiquity. “The like has not happened since the time of Ra”, was a common phrase used of any event to which no parallel within the memory of man could be adduced. The god was conceived by the Egyptians as existing purely in the shape of a man. In popular tales, such as the Tale of the Brothers,181 he appears walking on earth along with other gods, conversing with mortals, granting to his favourites gifts, which did not always minister to their permanent happiness, and conceived as a kindly old man. There is nothing singular in such notions. On the contrary they are commonplaces in the childlike religion of primitive peoples. But in Egyptian faith the Sun-god Ra was brought into still nearer relations to humanity by the belief that he was the begetter of the Egyptian kings, and that at the last he sank into a drivelling old age.182 Evidence of this belief in the ultimate dotage and decrepitude of the Sun-god will meet us immediately.

Myths of the origin of the Sun-god.

As to the origin of the Sun-god various stories were told. According to one account, he originated, no one knew exactly how or where, in the great primeval ocean called Nun.183 Many people thought that he first appeared as a child sitting in a lotus flower which bloomed in the primordial watery abyss.184 Perhaps the notion may have been suggested by the sight of the sun rising over the flooded Delta, where lotus flowers spangled the shimmering surface of the water.185 According to another account, the Sun-god was hatched from an egg, which lay in a nest, which rested on a hill, which rose from the water. Eight primeval monsters, in the form of frogs and serpents, were present at the birth, and so was a cow. No sooner was the infant god hatched from the egg than he climbed on the back of the cow and, so mounted, swam about in the water. As for the egg, it was not laid by any living creature but fashioned on a potter's wheel by the creator-god Ptah of Memphis. Abydos likewise could point to the birthplace of the Sun.186 We have seen that in Egyptian mythology the sky was supposed to have originally lain flat on the earth until it was raised to its present position by the god Shu, who, dexterously interposing himself between the bodies of the deified Earth (Seb or Keb) and the deified Sky (Nut), pushed up the firmament to the lofty position which it has occupied ever since. On this view the Sun, which must have at first lain flat on the ground, was elevated, simultaneously with the deified Sky, to the vault of heaven; and on Egyptian monuments he is represented sailing in his boat over the back of the Sky-goddess Nut.187

Myth told to account for the position of the Sun in the sky.

Ra accuses men of plotting against him.

But another and even more barbarous myth was told to account for the position of the sun in the sky. It is said to that the Sun-god Ra, the king of gods and men, grew old and feeble; his bones turned to silver, his limbs to old, and his hair to lapis lazuli. So men despised him and plotted against him. But Ra heard the words which men spoke about him; and he said to one of his following, “Call to me my eye (the goddess Hathor or Sekhet), and the god Shu and the goddess Tefnut, the god Seb and the goddess Nut, and the fathers and the mothers who were with me when I was in Nun (the primeval waters), and call also Nun himself (the god of the primeval waters), let him bring his companions with him; let him bring them in all secrecy, that men may not see them and flee”. Now when these gods came to the place where Ra was, they cast themselves down to earth before his majesty, and he spake to Nun, the father of the oldest gods, the maker of men, the king of those that know. He said: “O thou eldest god, by whom I first had my being, and ye ancestral gods! behold, mankind, who had their being from mine eye,188 plot against me. Tell me what ye would do in face of this. Take ye counsel for me. I will not slay them until I have heard what ye say concerning it.”

Ra sends forth his eye to destroy the men who plotted against him.

Then spake the majesty of the god Nun: “O my son Ra, thou god that art greater than his father and his creator, thy throne standeth fast, great is the fear of thee, turn thine eye against those who have uttered blasphemies against thee”. And when Ra turned his eye upon them, they fled, into the desert,189 for their hearts were full of fear because of that which they had said. Then the gods spake to his majesty, to Ra the king, saying: “Send forth thine eye; let it destroy for thee the people which imagined wicked plots against thee. There is no eye among mankind which can withstand thine eye when it descendeth in the form of the goddess Hathor.”

The goddess Hathor, as the eye of Ra, slays mankind.

So the goddess Hathor went forth, she slew mankind in the desert,190 she waded in their blood. Then the heart of Ra smote him, and he commanded that the butchery should cease. But the goddess had tasted blood, and she refused to obey. “By thy life,” she answered, “when I murder men, my heart is glad.” The fall of night alone arrested the carnage.

Ra stops the slaughter by rendering Hathor tipsy.

While the cruel goddess slept, Ra took steps to prevent her from utterly destroying mankind on the following day. He said: “Call unto me swift messengers; let them run like a blast of the wind; let them run to Elephantine; let them bring me many mandrakes”.191 So the mandrakes were brought and the god delivered them to the grinder who dwells in Heliopolis, and he ground them to powder, while handmaids brewed barley beer. Then the powder of the mandrakes was poured into the beer, and the beer was red as blood. Seven thousand jars of the red beer were brewed. The majesty of King Ra came with the gods to behold the beer. And when the morning broke, and the goddess Hathor would have resumed the slaughter, Ra said, “I will protect men against her. Carry the beer to the place where she would slay mankind.” So the beer was carried there and poured out, and it flooded the fields four spans deep. In the morning the goddess came, she found the fields flooded, she saw her face beautifully reflected in the beer, and she drank of the beer, and her heart was glad, and she returned home drunk, and took no more thought of men.

But, tired of dwelling among men, the old Sun-god withdrew to the sky, being raised on the back on his daughter Nut (the Sky-goddess) in the form of a cow.

The sky conceived as a cow and identified either with Hathor or with Nut.

Thus did the old Sun-god save mankind from utter destruction. But he would rule no more among these his ungrateful creatures. “By my life,” quoth he, “my heart is weary of abiding with them.” But the gods remonstrated with him, saying, “Speak not of weariness; thy might is according to thy desire”. Nevertheless, the weary Sun-god replied to Nun, the god of the primeval waters, saying: “For the first time my limbs ail; I will not wait until this weakness seizeth me a second time”. To discover a retreat and place of rest for the worn-out Sun-god, now fallen into the vale of years, was a task for Nun, the god of the primeval waters. He called his daughter, the Sky-goddess Nut, and she turned herself into a cow, and took the Sun-god on her back, and lifted him up aloft; and there she herself became what is now the sky. But when Nut looked down from heaven, she trembled at the great height. So Ra called the god Shu to him and said, “My son Shu, put yourself under my daughter Nut, take her on thine head”. And Shu did as he was bidden, and since then he has supported the heavenly cow, on whose belly the stars twinkle and the sun sails along in his boat For, according to one scheme of Egyptian cosmography, the celestial vault is in fact a gigantic cow, and the sun travels in his bark along the stomach of the animal, which is propped up and prevented from collapsing by various divinities, especially by Shu. The heavenly cow is sometimes identified with the goddess Hathor and sometimes with the Sky-goddess Nut. As for the Sun-god Ra, he perched on the back of the cow; and there he created for himself a kingdom, to wit the upper heaven, with its green fields spangled with stars, and one of the fields he called the Field of Rest. There the blessed dead, a great multitude whom no man can number, gather to him, and walk these happy fields, and praise him, their Maker, for ever and ever.192

Another story of how Ra, the Sun-god, destroyed his enemies by Horus the Sparrow-hawk (Horbehudti), in the form of a winged disk.

The image of the winged disk of the Sun.

The destruction of the enemies who took advantage of Ra's age and infirmities to plot against him is related in another myth, which explains the meaning of the winged disk as a symbol of the sun. The story sets forth how, when Ra was in Nubia with his warriors, his foes conspired against him. Ra did not himself go forth to battle with them, but had recourse to the god Horbehudti, that is, Horus the Sparrow-hawk, who thereupon flew up to the sun in the form of a great winged disk; therefore was he thenceforth called the Great God, the Lord of Heaven. From heaven he saw the foemen, he pursued them as a great winged disk. Because of his fierce onset their eyes no longer saw, their ears no longer heard; every man slew his neighbour, not a head remained whereby they could live. When Ra was sailing in his bark on the water, and the crocodiles and hippopotamuses opened their jaws to devour him, then came Horbehudti with his servants; every one of them had an iron lance and a chain in his hand; then they smote the crocodiles and the hippopotamuses; and the number of the foes of Ra that were slain before the city of Edfu was three hundred and eighty-one. Thus did the god Horbehudti traverse the whole of Egypt in the company of Ra, warding off all evil and harm from the king of the gods. Hence it was hoped and believed that he would always and everywhere exert the same beneficent power; therefore the image of the winged disk of the sun was placed over the entrances to the inner chambers temples as well as over their gates; and it was carved on tablets and other objects as a talisman to stave off harm and destruction. Sometimes the emblem is simply a winged solar disk, but sometimes it is combined with two serpents, one on either side of the disk; occasionally the serpents are crowned with the diadems of Upper and Lower Egypt. They represent the tutelary goddesses of the two divisions of the land, namely, the goddesses Nekhebit and Uazit, whom the Greeks called Eileithyia and Buto. While these winged disks were rarely represented in the Old Kingdom, they were common in the New; and in later times a series of such disks would be placed one below the other on the same Monument, doubtless in the hope that the efficacy of the sacred symbol would be strengthened by its repetition. It is probable that originally Horbehudti, the god of the winged solar disk, was an independent deity of the sun, the peer of Ra, though afterwards, in the fusion of local worships, he came to be subordinated to that great god, who drew so many once distinct deities, like planets, into his orbit.193

How Isis became Queen of the Gods by inducing the aged Sun-god Ra to reveal to her his secret name.

But nowhere are the feebleness and decrepitude of the aged Sun-god Ra depicted so vividly as in the famous myth which relates how the cunning enchantress Isis wheedled him out of his secret name, and by transferring it to herself became mistress of his divine powers; for in accordance with the doctrine of primitive magic a person's true name is not a mere empty sound but a substantial part of him, which carries with it the personal qualities and powers of the owner and can be purloined, like any other piece of property, and used against him by an enemy. In this story of the cajoling of Ra, we read that Ra had many names, but that the great name, which gave him all power over gods and men, was known to none but himself. However, by this time the god was grown old; he slobbered at the mouth, and his spittle fell upon the ground. So Isis gathered up the spittle and the earth with it, and out of the two, by her magic art, she fashioned a serpent, which stung Ra as he passed on his daily journey to and fro. The god suffered agonies from the effect of the poison, and Isis offered to deliver him from his pangs, if only he would reveal to her his secret name. The god held out for a time, but at last he could bear the torture no more, and in a moment of weakness, to obtain relief, he consented that Isis should search into him, and that his name should pass from his breast into hers. It did so, and Isis kept her part of the bargain by reciting a spell, which caused the poison to flow out of the god's body. Thus possessed of the divine name, Isis became the Queen of the Gods; but robbed of his name, and ashamed of his fallen state, Ra hid himself from the gods, and his place in the ship of eternity was empty.194

Myth of the contest of the Sun-god with a great dragon, Apepi (Apophis).

Even in the zenith of his power and glory, before he sank into the fens and bogs of a feeble old age, the Sun-god Ra or Amon Ra had to contend with a foe more fierce and dangerous than any mere human enemy. This dreadful being was the huge serpent or dragon, Apep, Apepi, or Apophis, who dared to oppose and obstruct the passage of the Sun-god's bark both in the sky above and the world of the dead below. He seems to have personified the principle of darkness in opposition to the sunlight. Originally, perhaps, he was the thick darkness which brooded over the primeval abyss of water (Nun), before the sun arose from it to illumine the universe; but afterwards he apparently stood for darkness in general, whether the gloom of midnight or of the murky storm-cloud. In the Books of Overthrowing Apep he is spoken of at one time as a serpent, and at another as a crocodile; but in the pictures of Egyptian papyri he is always portrayed in the form of a serpent with a knife stuck in each of his coils. In the Book of the Gates he is to be seen chained to the ground by five chains, while another chain is fastened round his neck and is held at one end by a god. But the eye of the Sun-god is victorious over the dragon, and in the combat the crew of the Sun-god's boat exult when they see how the monster is laid low, how his limbs are slashed with knives, his body scorched with fire, and his soul punished still more cruelly.195 In one aspect of this combat we may perhaps detect a mythical account of a solar eclipse.196

How the great dragon was to be destroyed.

In the Books of Overthrowing Apep the various ways of dealing with the dragon and overcoming him are described in great detail. He is to be speared, then gashed with knives, every bone of his body is to be severed by red-hot knives, his head, legs, and tail are to be amputated, and what little remains of him is to be scorched, singed, roasted, and finally shrivelled up and consumed by fire. The same fate was in store for his accomplices and for everything that pertained to them, such as their shadows, souls, doubles, and spirits; all these were to be clean wiped out of existence, and the same radical treatment was to be administered to any offspring of which they might be the unhappy parents.197

Magical ceremony for the destruction of the dragon performed daily.

In Upper Egypt a special service was daily performed with the object of destroying the power of the dragon and frustrating his attacks on the Sun. The service consisted in reciting a series of chapters at certain hours of the day, while at the same time the celebrant performed a set of magical rites. Thus one rubric directs that the name of the dragon, Apepi, should be written in green ink on a piece of new papyrus, and that a waxen figure of the fiend should be made, and his name inscribed in green ink on the covering; and the papyrus with the name of Apepi on it was to be placed inside the covering of the figure. And the celebrant was to cast the figure on the ground, and to stamp on it with his left foot and defile it, and to spit upon it four times a day. And he was to put the figure in the fire and as the wax melted and the papyrus burned, the dragon would decay and fall to pieces. And when the wax was melted, the refuse was to be mixed with filth and burned again. This must be done at midnight, the hour at which the Sun-god began his return journey towards the east in the underworld, and it was to be repeated at dawn, at noon, and at eventide; and it might be performed with advantage whenever the sky lowered or clouds gathered for rain. And the foul fiends that aided and abetted Apepi in his impious attacks on the Sun-god were effectually disposed of in like manner. Waxen images of them were made and inscribed with their names and tied up with black hair and the celebrant cast them on the ground, kicked them with his left foot, and pierced them with a stone spear.

Survival of primitive magic in Egypt.

The document which contains this interesting liturgy was written about 312-311 B.C., though the compositions which it contains are probably very much older. It suffices to prove that down to a time subsequent to the Macedonian conquest, when Egypt was permeated by Greek influence, the religion of that conservative country was still saturated with elements borrowed from primitive and world-wide magic.198

  • 1.

    P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne (Paris, 1910), p. 81.

  • 2.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien (Heidelberg, 1920–1925), ii. 19 sq.; S. H. Langdon, in The Cambridge Modern History, i.2 (Cambridge, 1924) p. 397.

  • 3.

    H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3 (Berlin, 1902), p. 367; P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 85. Zimmern translates E-babbara as “weisses Haus”, “White House”. Others translate the words as “house of lustre” or “bright house”. See M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (Boston, U.S.A., 1898), p. 70; L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology (London, 1899), p. 18; Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 21 (“glänzendes Haus”).

  • 4.

    H. Zimmern, l.c.; E. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums2, i. 2, p. 376.

  • 5.

    S. H. Langdon, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 395.

  • 6.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 68.

  • 7.

    L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, pp. 14, 17.

  • 8.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 68 sq.; L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, pp. 17 sq.; H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3, p. 368; Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 19 sq.

  • 9.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Agumkakrime”, p. 6.

  • 10.

    R. Campbell Thompson, Semitic Magic (London, 1908), p. 26.

  • 11.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 21.

  • 12.

    H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3, p. 368; Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 21; L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, p. 23; M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 74 sq.; R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, p. 402. Jastrow shortens the name of the goddess to Â.

  • 13.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 21.

  • 14.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 21; H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3, p. 368; P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 84.

  • 15.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 20; L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, p. 32; P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, pp. 81 sq., 84 sq.; H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader's Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3, p. 368.

  • 16.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 21; P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, pp. 81 sq.

  • 17.

    L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, pp. 31 sq.

  • 18.

    L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, p. 32.

  • 19.

    L. W. King, Babylonien Religion and Mythology, p. 33.

  • 20.

    L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, p. 33.

  • 21.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 20, 167 sq.; for the merchant's prayer to the Sun-god, see id. i. 338; for the Sun-god as the patron of hunters, see id. i. 224. Compare Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, Babylonian Life and History2 (London, 1925), pp. 135-137.

  • 22.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, i. 101.

  • 23.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonian und Assyrien, i. 133.

  • 24.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 20.

  • 25.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, i. 390.

  • 26.

    H. Winckler, Die Gesetze Hammurabis (Leipzig, 1903), pp. 40, 41; H. Gressmann, Altorientalische Texte und Bilder (Tübingen, 1909), i. 170; P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 83.

  • 27.

    H. Gressmann, Altorientalische Texte und Bilder, ii. 58, Abb. 94.

  • 28.

    L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad (London, 1916), p. 259. According to King (op. cit. p. 64), Gudea acceded to the throne about 2450 B.C. As to King Gudea, see S. H. Langdon, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 426 sqq. Twelve diorite statues of Gudea have been found, most of them decapitated. One of them is perhaps the finest specimen of Sumerian sculpture (ib. pp. 428, 429). In The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 670, the date assigned to Gudea is 2600 B.C.

  • 29.

    P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 83.

  • 30.

    P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 83.

  • 31.

    P. Dhorme, l.c.

  • 32.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, i. 148, ii. 20, 167; M. Jastrow, Die Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens (Giessen, 1905–1912), i. 435.

  • 33.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 209 sq.; R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I.”, pp. 12, 19, 20.

  • 34.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 210.

  • 35.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, i. 47.

  • 36.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 210; F. R. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Monolith Inscription of Shalmaneser II.”, p. 33.

  • 37.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 210; F. R. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I.”, p. 19.

  • 38.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, pp. 156 sq.; compare id. p. 154.

  • 39.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 20 sq., 66, 242; P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 84.

  • 40.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 53 sq., 66.

  • 41.

    P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 84; H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3, p. 368.

  • 42.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 242; P. Dhorme, La Religion assyro-babylonienne, p. 84.

  • 43.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, p. lxi; M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 333.

  • 44.

    The second month.

  • 45.

    The fifth month.

  • 46.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 334; compare R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, pp. 425 sq.

  • 47.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, p. 426; compare M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 335 sq.

  • 48.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 337 sq.

  • 49.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 338 sqq.

  • 50.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Agumkakrime”, p. 3; compare M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 122, 152 sq.; Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 245. According to Meissner, Agumkakrime reigned about 1600 B.C. This king's name is spelled Agumkakrimi by Jastrow, Agumkakrime by Harper, and Agukakrime by Meissner.

  • 51.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Nabonidus”, p. 164; Br. Meissner, Babylonian und Assyrien, ii. 245.

  • 52.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 69.

  • 53.

    M. Jastrow, l.c. As to Ur-Bau and his date, see L. W. King, Sumer and Akkad, pp. 258 sq., 361. According to Professor Langdon in The Cambridge Ancient History (i.2 373), Ur-Bau reigned about 2700 B.C.

  • 54.

    L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad, pp. 310 sq.

  • 55.

    L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad, p. 362, Table III.; E. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums2, i. 2. p. 502. The latter historian dates Gungunu about 2000 B.C. According to The Cambridge Ancient History (i.2 658), Gungunum, King of Larsa, reigned from 2264 to 2238 B.C.

  • 56.

    L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad, pp. 244, 361; E. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums2, i. 2. p. 479.

  • 57.

    L. W. King, History of Babylon (London, 1915), pp. 111, 320; The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 659.

  • 58.

    H. Winckler, Die Gesetze Hammurabis2, pp. 8 sq.; H. Gressmann, Altorientalische Texte und Bilder, i. 141 sq. In another inscription Hammurabi describes more fully his fortification of Sippar. See R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription from a cylinder of Hammurabi”, p. 2: “I raised the battlements of the wall of Sippara, like a great mountain, with a swamp (moat) I surrounded it. I dug the canal of Sippara to Sippara, and supported it with a wall of safety”.

  • 59.

    M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 144.

  • 60.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Nabonidus”, pp. 166 sq. The statement in the inscription that three thousand two hundred years elapsed between the time of Naram-Sin and that of Nabonidus has sometimes been used as a basis for reconstructing the early chronology of Babylonia. But it appears to be certainly erroneous and far in excess of the truth. To explain the error it has been suggested that the scribe may have reckoned as consecutive a number of dynasties which were contemporaneous. See L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad, pp. 60 sqq.; S. A. Cook, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 155 sq. Sargon, father of Naram-Sin, was an ancient king of Akkad who reigned about 2650 B.C. His proper name was Shar-Gani-sharri. See L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad, pp. 216 sqq., 361. This Sargon I. is not to be confounded with Sargon II., the famous Assyrian king and conqueror, who captured Samaria in 722 B.C. See R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, pp. lxxiii sqq.

  • 61.

    L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad, pp. 218, 361. Mr. King dates the reign of Sargon I. about 2650 B.C. According to Professor Langdon, Sargon I. founded the empire of Agade about 2872 B.C. (The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 403). According to Br. Meissner, Sargon I. reigned from 2637 to 2582 B.C. (Babylonian und Assyrien, ii. 443). Thus King and Meissner agree fairly closely as to the date of Sargon I. and differ widely from Professor Langdon.

  • 62.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 85. As to Rimush, see S. H. Langdon, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 408 s.q. According to Br. Meissner (Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 443), he reigned from 2581 to 2573 B.C.

  • 63.

    L. W. King, History of Sumer and Akkad, pp. 231, 360.

  • 64.

    The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 409. According to Br. Meissner (Babylonien und Assyrien, ii. 443), Manishtusu reigned from 2572 to 2558 B.C.

  • 65.

    R. Campbell Thompson, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 478.

  • 66.

    R. Campbell Thompson, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 481.

  • 67.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Nabupaliddin”, pp. 30-32; P. Dhorme, Choix de Textes religieux assyro-babyloniens (Paris, 1907), pp. 385-397. As to Ai or A and Bunene, see above, p. 531. As to the historical events recorded in the inscription, compare L. W. King, History of Babylon (London, 1915), p. 257.

  • 68.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “Inscription of Nabupaliddin”, p. 33.

  • 69.

    Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien. ii. 86.

  • 70.

    R. Campbell Thompson, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 534.

  • 71.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “A ritual tablet”, p. 399-407. Nothing is here said as to the date of the tablet or the place to which it refers; but from a reference in R. Campbell Thompson's Semitic Magic, p. xxii (compare p. xlii), I infer that the tablet refers to the worship of Shamash at Sippar, and that it dates from the first half of the tenth century B.C.

  • 72.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “A ritual tablet”, pp. 402 sq. The mode of divination referred to in the text is mentioned repeatedly in another inscription, where we read “the tablet of the gods, the tablet of the mystery of the heavens and of the earth, to observe the oil on the water, the secret of Ann, of Bel, and of Ea”. See P. Dhorme, Choix de Textes religieux assyro-babyloniens (Paris, 1907), pp. 141, 143; compare H. Zimmern, in E. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3, pp. 533 sq.

  • 73.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, “A ritual tablet”, pp. 403 sq. As to Kettu and Mesharu, the children of the Sun-god, see above, p. 531.

  • 74.

    See above, pp. 544 sq.

  • 75.

    Guide to the Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities in the British Museum3 (London, 1922), pp. 69-71, with plate xxvi. Compare L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, p. 19; M. Jastrow, Büdermappe zur Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens, Fig. 94; H. Gressmann, Altorientalische Texte und Bilder, ii. 57, Abb. 92.

  • 76.

    R. Campbell Thompson, Semitic Magic (London, 1908), pp. 33 sq.

  • 77.

    A goddess, who, along with Ea, was besought to break the power of demons. See M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 101.

  • 78.

    C. Fossey, La Magie assyrienne (Paris, 1902), pp. 293, 295.

  • 79.

    C. Fossey, La Magie assyrienne, pp. 132 sq.

  • 80.

    C. Fossey, La Magie assyrienne, pp. 309, 311. I have omitted some obscure or fragmentary lines.

  • 81.

    François Martin, Textes religieux assyriens et babyloniens (Paris, 1900), p. 15 (Bibliothèque de l’ Éole des Hautes Êtudes, Fascicule 130).

  • 82.

    P. Dhórme, Choix de Textes religieux assyro-babyloniens, p. 99.

  • 83.

    R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, pp. 411-413. Compare L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, pp. 178-183; P. Jensen, Assyrisch-babylonische Mythen und Epen (Berlin, 1900), pp. 81-91; P. Dhorme, Choix de Textes religieux assyro-babyloniens, pp. 327-341; H. Gressmann, Altorientalische Texte und Bilder, i. 65-69; R. W. Rogers, Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament (Oxford, 1912), pp. 121-131.

  • 84.

    P. Dhorme, Choix de Textes religieux assyro-babyloniens, pp. 199-301. Compare A. Ungnad und H. Gressmann, Das Gilgamesch-Epos (Göttingen, 1911), pp. 70 sq.

  • 85.

    Strabo, xvi. 4. 26.

  • 86.

    J. Wellhausen, Reste arabischen Heidentums2 (Berlin, 1897), p. 60.

  • 87.

    Above, pp. 500 sq.

  • 88.

    J. Wellhausen, l.c.

  • 89.

    A. G. Cooke, Text-book of North-Semitic Inscriptions (Oxford, 1903), pp. 298 sq., Inscription No. 298. As to sun-pillars compare M. J. Lagrange, Eludes sur les Religions sémitiques2 (Paris, 1905) pp. 213-215.

  • 90.

    G. A. Cook, op. cit. p. 275, Inscription No. 117.

  • 91.

    William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, ii. 537.

  • 92.

    EncyclopaediaBiblica, s.v. “Nature-worship”, vol. iii. coll. 3355-3356: id., s.v. “Samson”, vol. iv. coll. 4268-4270. As to the solar theory of Samson, see H. Steinthal, “The Legend of Samson”, in Ignaz Goldziher's Mythology among the Hebrews (London, 1877), pp. 392-446; A. Jeremias, Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients2 (Leipzig, 1906), pp. 478-482; Paul Carus, The Story of Samson (Chicago, 1907); A. Smythe Palmer, D. D., The Samson Saga (London, 1913); C. F. Burney, The Book of Judges (London, 1918), pp. 391 sqq. The theory has been rejected by Fr. Baethgen, Beiträge zur semitischen Religions-geschichte (Berlin, 1888), pp. 161 sqq., and by G. F. Moore, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges (Edinburgh, 1903), pp. 364 sq.

  • 93.

    2 Kings xxi. 1-5.

  • 94.

    2 Kings xxiii. 4-5.

  • 95.

    Deuteronomy xvii. 2-7.

  • 96.

    Jeremiah viii. 1-2.

  • 97.

    Jeremiah xix. 13.

  • 98.

    Zephaniah i. 5.

  • 99.

    2 Kings xxiii. 12.

  • 100.

    2 Kings xxiii. 11.

  • 101.

    S. Bochart, Hierozoicon, editio tertia (Leyden, 1682), vol. i. coll. 176 sq.; G. F. Moore, in Encyclopaedia Biblica, s.v. “Nature-worship”, vol. iii. 3356. It has sometimes been thought that the horses were statues; but Bochart seems to be right in arguing that they were living animals.

  • 102.

    See above, pp. 444, 457, 459, 462 sq., 484, 531.

  • 103.

    Ezekiel viii. 14-17.

  • 104.

    Job xxxi. 26-28.

  • 105.

    On this subject see A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 1897), pp. 14-102, 106-124; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2 (Berlin, 1909), pp. 10-13, 32-38, 71-84; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians (London, 1904), i. 322-371, ii. 3 sqq.; Roeder, s.v. “Sonne und Sonnengott”, in W. H. Roscher's Ausfuhrliches Lexikon der griechischen und romischen Mythologie, iv. coll. 1155-1210; J. H. Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (London, 1912), pp. 8-17, 312-370.

  • 106.

    The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 662. Erman dates the fourth, fifth, and sixth dynasties somewhat later, namely, from 2800 to 2300 B.C. (Die āgyptische Religion, p. vii).

  • 107.

    T. E. Peet, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 330. As to the engravings on the pyramids, the so-called Pyramid Texts, see The Golden Bough, Part IV. Adonis, Attis, Osiris, ii. 3 sqq., with the references. According to one calculation, the Pyramid Texts were engraved during a period roughly of a hundred and fifty years from 2625 B.C. onward.

  • 108.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 14; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 10. It seems to be now generally held that the Egyptians, like the ancient Hebrews, did not write the vowels but only the consonants, so that in most cases there is little or no guidance to the correct vocalization of the words. This naturally adds much to the difficulty of the language. See R. A. Stewart Macalister, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 119. Hence Egyptologists vary greatly in their transliteration of Egyptian proper names. In the almost infinite variety of forms thus offered to his choice the uninitiated may perhaps be excused for selecting what seem to him the simplest, clearest, and most euphonious. On this ground I have preferred the spelling Ra to the spelling Re in the name of the Sun-god as less liable to be misunderstood by English readers. The spelling Ra has the authority of Brugsch, Wiedemann, Maspero, Pierret (Le Livre des Morts, Paris, 1882), Moret, and Budge; the spelling Re is adopted by Erman, Ed. Meyer, Roeder, Breasted, Peet, and W. Max Müller (Egyptian Mythology).

  • 109.

    T. E. Peet, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 330.

  • 110.

    T. E. Peet, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 330 sq.: A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 10; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 31. According to Wiedemann, the name Khepera (Khepri) is derived from a verb kheper, “to become”.

  • 111.

    T. E. Peet, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 331.

  • 112.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, 10 sq.; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 31; (Sir) F. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 352.

  • 113.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 23 sq., with figs. 3 and 4 on pp. 22, 23; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 11; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l' Orient classique: les origines (Paris, 1895), p. 90; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 323 sq.

  • 114.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 83-102.

  • 115.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 84 sq.

  • 116.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 94 sq.

  • 117.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 11 sq.

  • 118.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 15 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 287, 328.

  • 119.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 17 sq.; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient classique: les origines (Paris, 1895), pp. 135 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 328. As to the approximate dates of the Twelfth dynasty, see The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 658 sq.

  • 120.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 17 sq.

  • 121.

    Herodotus, ii. 3.

  • 122.

    Strabo, xvii. 1. 27-29.

  • 123.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 18, 21.

  • 124.

    A. Wiedemann, Ägyptische Geschichte (Gotha, 1884), pp. 573 sq. For a translation of the whole inscription, see id. pp. 566-575; compare A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 21-23; (Sir) F. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 331 sq.

  • 125.

    A. Wiedemann, Ägyptische Geschichte, p. 564.

  • 126.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 24; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 33, 55; Roeder, s.v. “Sonne und Sonnengott”, in W. H. Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, iv. 1162.

  • 127.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 16.

  • 128.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion, pp. 52-56; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 16 sq. As to the general plan of an ordinary Egyptian temple, see also A. Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im Altertum, pp. 380 sq. The Holy of Holies was divided into three chapels, side by side. The image of the god stood in the central chapel, while the images of his wife and son usually stood in the side chapels, in accordance with the common distribution of Egyptian deities into triads or trinities, each consisting of a Father, a Mother, and a Son. See A. Wiedemann, Ancient Egyptian Religion, pp. 103 sq. As to the religious gloom characteristic of the Holy of Holies in ordinary Egyptian temples, compare G. Maspero, L'Archéologie égyptienne, p. 71.

  • 129.

    G. Maspero, Causeries d’ Êgypte (Paris, N.D., preface dated 1907), pp. 327-333.

  • 130.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion, pp. 13, 51; G. Maspero, L'Archéologie égyptienne, p. 73. Compare The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 261, 329; Roeder, s.v. “Sonne and Sonnengott”, in W. H. Roscher's Ausfuhrliches Lexikon der griechischen und rumischen Mythologie, iv. 1159.

  • 131.

    The name of the symbol ♀ was ankh; by modern writers it is often referred to as the crux ansata. See A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 288 sq., who denies that the symbol has anything to do with a cross.

  • 132.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 25 sq. Some modern authorities speak of the Sun-bird as a hawk, others call it a falcon. The two words are not synonymous. See Alfred Newton, Dictionary of Birds (London, 1893-1896), sqq. “Falcon” and “Hawk”, pp. 235, 411. Of the two, “falcon” is the more precise and definite, while hawk is “a word of indefinite meaning, being often used to signify all diurnal Birds of Prey, which are neither vultures nor eagles” (Newton, op. cit. p. 411).

  • 133.

    T. E. Peet, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 329.

  • 134.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 27.

  • 135.

    Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, 12.

  • 136.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 27. sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptianś, i. 467 sq.

  • 137.

    (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 468.

  • 138.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 223 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 468 sq. The latter writer transliterates the Egyptian name of the god as Heru-p-khart.

  • 139.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 28; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 469 sq.

  • 140.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 28. The Egyptian notions about the shrew-mouse are mentioned by Plutarch, Quaest. Conviv. iv. 5. 2.

  • 141.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 28 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 470-472.

  • 142.

    J. H. Breasted, in The Cambridge Ancient History, ii. 91; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 472.

  • 143.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 29 sq.

  • 144.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 31 sq.: (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 349 sqq., who trans-literates the god's name as Tem, or Temu, or Ateni.

  • 145.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 71-73; E. Meyer, s.v. “Ammon”, in W. H. Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und rümischen Mythologie, i. 283-285; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 107 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 4 sq., 22 sq.

  • 146.

    Herodotus, ii. 42; Strabo, xvii. 1. 40; Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. ii. 39, p. 34, ed. Potter.

  • 147.

    E. Meyer, s.v. “Ammon”, in W. H. Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, i. 284; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 118-120; id., Herodots Zweiles Buch (Leipzig, 1890), p. 202; A. B. Cook, Zeus, i. 347.

  • 148.

    Herodotus, ii. 42.

  • 149.

    Compare The Golden Bough, Part V. Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild, ii. 172 sq.

  • 150.

    H. Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie der alten Aegypter (Leipzig, 1885). pp. 290 sqq.; A. Wiedemann, Herodots Zweites Buch (Leipzig, 1890), pp. 197 sq.; id., Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 128 sq.; Drexler, s.v. “Knuphis”, in W. H. Roseher's Ausfūhrliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, ii. 1250 sqq.; Sethe, s.v. “Chnubis”, in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, iii. 2349-2352; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 49 sqq.; A. B. Cook, Zeus, i. 346 sq. The last two of these writers call the god Khnemu. The Greek form of the name (Χνονυķβις) occurs in a Greek inscription of Ptolemy VIII. (146–116 B.C.), which was found in one of the islands of the Cataracts. See W. Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae, No. 130, vol. i. pp. 207 sq. Strabo (xvii. 1. 48) calls the god Knuphis (Κνου̑ϕις). The name is given as Kneph by Plutarch (Isis and Osiris, 21) and Eusebius (Praepar. Evangel. iii. 11. 28). Eusebius (op. cit. iii. 12. 1) describes the god's image at Elephantine as that of a man seated, of a blue colour, with the head of a ram surmounted by a disk. The description is borne out by the monuments.

  • 151.

    H. Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie der alten Aegypter, p. 291.

  • 152.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 128.

  • 153.

    Sethe, s.v. “Chnubis”, in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, iii. 2351; H. Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie der alien Aegypter, pp. 242 sq., 294, 296; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 48, 71; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 52.

  • 154.

    T. E. Peet, in The Cambridge Ancient History, i.2 246, 328 sq.

  • 155.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 111.

  • 156.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 112.

  • 157.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 114.

  • 158.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 115-118. Compare A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 73 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 5 sqq.

  • 159.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 118 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 16 sq.

  • 160.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 122 sq.; A. Erman Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 16; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 28.

  • 161.

    (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 11 sq.; A. Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im Altertum, pp. 403 sqq.

  • 162.

    A. Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im Altertum, p. 404.

  • 163.

    G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l' Orient classique: les premières mêlées des peuples (Paris, 1897), pp. 557-559; A. Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im Altertum, pp. 405-409; id., Die agyplische Religion2, p. 85.

  • 164.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 84 sq.

  • 165.

    (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 12; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’ Orient classique: les premières mêlées des peuples (Paris, 1897), pp. 559-566; J. H. Breasted, History of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 1908), pp. 347 sqq., 357 sqq.; C. P. Tiele, Geschichte der Religion im Altertum, i. (Gotha, 1896), pp. 66, 98-100; H. R. Hall, in The Cambridge Ancient History, iii. (Cambridge, 1925), pp. 251 sqq.

  • 166.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 87, 185 sqq. As to the oracular jugglery see J. H. Breasted, History of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 1908), pp. 357 sq. Compare The Golden Bough, Part I. The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, ii. 134 sq.

  • 167.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 53; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 49; J. H. Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt, pp. 15 sq.

  • 168.

    A. Moret, Du Caractère religieux de la Royanté Pharaonique (Paris, 1902), pp. 48-54. For a full description and discussion of the various scenes, with illustrations, see A. Moret, op. cit. pp. 48-73. Compare A. Wiedemann, Herodots sweites Buch, pp. 268 sq.; The Golden Bough, Part I. The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, ii. 130-133.

  • 169.

    (Sir) Peter le Page Renouf, “The Priestly Character of the earliest Egyptian civilisation”, Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, xii. (1890) p. 355. Compare The Golden Bough, Part I. The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, i. 418 sq.

  • 170.

    The Cambridge Ancient History, ii. 702.

  • 171.

    J. H. Breasted, in The Cambridge Ancient History, ii. 113.

  • 172.

    On this attempted reformation of religion, one of the most curious and interesting episodes in Egyptian history, see Lepsius, in Verhandlurigen der königl. Akademie der Wissenschaften su Berlin, 1851, pp. 196-201; H. Brugsch, History of Egypt (London, 1879), i. 441 sqq.; A. Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im Altertum, pp. 74 sq., 355-357; id., Die agyptische Religion2, pp. 76-84; A. Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte (Gotha, 1884), pp. 396 sqq.; id., Die Religion der alten Agypter, pp. 20-22; id., Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 35-43; C. P. Tiele, Geschichte der Religion im Altertum, i. (Gotha, 1896) pp. 84-92; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient classique: les premières mêlées des peuples, pp. 316 sqq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 68-84; A Moret, Kings and Gods of Egypt (New York and London, 1912), pp. 41-68; J. H. Breasted, History of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 1908), pp. 264-289; id., Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (London, 1912), pp. 319-343: id., in The Cambridge Ancient History, ii. 109-129; T. E. Peet, id. pp. 203-207; W. Max Müller, Egyptian Mythology (London, etc., N.D.), pp. 224 sqq. Compare The Golden Bough, Part IV. Adonis, Attis, Osiris, ii. 123-125, from which I have here borrowed some sentences.

  • 173.

    J. H. Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (London, 1912), pp. 324-328; id., in The Cambridge Ancient History, ii. 117-119. Compare id., History of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 1908), pp. 273-277; A. Wiedemann, Ancient Egyptian Religion, pp. 40-42; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 79-81; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 75-79; A. Moret, Kings and Gods of Egypt, pp. 55-58; W. Max Müller, Egyptian Mythology, pp. 227-231.

  • 174.

    J. H. Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt, p. 331.

  • 175.

    (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 73, 77; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 37; A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 83.

  • 176.

    H. Brugsch, History of Egypt, i. 450.

  • 177.

    J. H. Breasted, in The Cambridge Ancient History, ii. 127.

  • 178.

    H. Brugsch, History of Egypt i. 449.

  • 179.

    H. Brugsch, History of Egypt, i. 445.

  • 180.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, p. 52.

  • 181.

    (Sir) W. M. Flinders Petrie, Egyptian Tales, Second Series (London, 1895), pp. 45. 49-51; G. Maspero, Les Contes populaires de l’ Égypte Ancienne3 (Paris, N.D.), pp. 8, 9 sq.

  • 182.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 52-54.

  • 183.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 32.

  • 184.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religions2 p. 33.

  • 185.

    (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 522.

  • 186.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 33.

  • 187.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 35 sq. See above, pp. 71-73.

  • 188.

    In an obscure myth about the eye of the Sun it is said that the Sun wept, and that men arose out of the tears which fell from his eye. See A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, p. 34.

  • 189.

    So Maspero (“an désert”) and Erman (“in die Wüste”): “unto the hills” (Wiedemann); “into the mountain” (Budge); “to the (desert) mountains” (W. Max Müller).

  • 190.

    So Erman (“in der Wüste”); “upon the hills” (Wiedemann); “on the mountain” (Budge); “on the mountains” (W. Max Müller).

  • 191.

    So Wiedemann, Maspero, Budge, and W. Max Müller, following Brugsch. The Egyptian word is didi, which Erman leaves untranslated, remarking that it must be some fruit with a red juice.

  • 192.

    This account of the attempted destruction of mankind by Hathor, and the retirement of the Sun-god to the sky, is found in a magical book which may have been written under the Middle Kingdom and is preserved in royal tombs of the New Kingdom. See A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 36 sq.; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 58-64; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’ Orient classique: les origines, pp. 164-169; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 363-369; W. Max Müller, Egyptian Mythology, pp. 73-78.

  • 193.

    A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 69-78.

  • 194.

    A. Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im Altertum, pp. 359-362; id., Die ägptische Religion2, pp. 173 sq.; R. V. Lanzone, Dizionario di mitologia egizia (Turin, 1881-1884), pp. 818-822; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient classique: les origines, pp. 162-164; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 54-58; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 360-363; W. Max Müller, Egyptian Mythology, pp. 79-83; The Golden Bough, Part II Taboo and the Perils of the Sou pp. 387-389.

  • 195.

    A. Erman, Die ägyptische Religion2, pp. 11, 73 sq.; (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 324 sq.; A. Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, pp. 49, 91, 92, 99 sq., 102; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient classique: les origines, pp. 90 sq.

  • 196.

    G. Maspero, l.c.

  • 197.

    (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 270 sq., 325 sq.

  • 198.

    (Sir) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, i. 270-272. Compare The Golden Bough, Part I. The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, i. 67 sq. The document which contains these particulars is known as the papyrus of Nesi-Amsu.

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