Hathor Chapel, Dynasty XVIII, Deir el-Bahri
The quotes here are taken from those posted on the athena-discuss list.
"The Sidonians, according to tradition, are skilled in many beautiful arts, as the poet also points out; and besides this they are philosophers in the sciences of astronomy and arithmetic, having begun their studies with practical calculations and with night-sailings; for each of these branches of knowlege concerns the merchant and ship-owner; as , for example, geometry was invented, it is said, from the measurement of lands which is made necessary by the Nile when it confounds the bondaries at the time of its overflows. This science, then, is believed to have come to the Greeks (from the Aegyptians; astronomy and arithemtic from the Phoenicians; and at present the far the greatest store of knowledge in every other branch of philosophy is had from these cities. And if one must believe Poseidonius, the ancient dogma about atoms originated with Mochus, a Sidonian [Phoenician], born before the Trojan times." (Strabo, _Geography_, 16, 2, trans. by H. L. Jones) "...to inspire those kings whose minds reached out to heights bordering on heavens, kings who civilized savage peoples beneath the eastern sky, whose lnads are severed by the Euphrates or flooded by the Nile, where the stars return to view and soar above the cities of dusky nations. ...These were the men who founded our noble science and were the first by their art to discern the destinies dependend on the wandering stars." (Manilius, _Astronomica_, 1, 40-67, trans. by G.P. Goold) "And hence it has come about that the sacred animals are recognized as such by the Egyptians, and that in the several cities of Egypt people worshp the souls of the men to whom these animals have been consecrated as living statues; so that the cities are governed by the laws which those men made, and bear their names. Thus the same animals which some cities think it right to worship and revere are in other cities held in small esteem; and this, Asclepius, is the reson why the cities of Egypt are wont to make war on one another. Morever, in time to come the rulers of the land will be made gods, and their worship will be established in a city at he very border of Egypt, a city which will be founded towards the setting sun, and to which men of every race will speed by land and sea. --Ascl. But tell me Trismegistus, where are such deified rulers to be found in our own day? --Tris. Their worship is established in the great city in the Libyan
mountain." (Asclepius III, trans. by W. Scott) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ "Hence when all the discoveries of this kind (practical) were fully developed, the sciences which relate neither to pleasure nor yet to the necessities of life were invented, and first in those places where men had leisure. Thus the mathematical sciences originated in the neighborhood of Egypt, because there the priestly class was allowed leisure." (Aristotle, _Metaphysics_ I. I. 15, 1, trans. by H. Tredennick) "...Egyptians have not only been accepted by the present inhabitants but have aroused no little admiration among the Greeks; and for that reason those men who have won the greatest repute in intellectual things have been eager to visit Egypt in order to acquaint themselves with its laws and institutions, which they considered to be worthy of note. For despite the fact that for reasons mentioned above strangers found it difficult in early times to enter the country, it was nevertheless eagerly visited by Orpheus and the poet Homer in the earliest times and in later times by many others, such as Pythagoras of Samos and Solon the lawgiver." (Diodorus Siculus, Book I. 68) "It was at this time, we are told, that Pythagoras, seeing that the tyranny was growing in power, left the city and went off to Egypt and Babylon, to satisfy his fondness for learning..." (Strabo, _Geography_ 14. I. 16, trans. by H.L. Jones) "They (the Ethiopians) say also that the Egyptians are colonists sent out by the Ethiopians, Osiris having been the leader of the colony...And the larger part of the customs of the Egyptians are, they hold, Ethiopian..." (Diodorus Siculus, Book III. 2. 4-3. 3) "The other myths about Hades, current among the Greeks, also agree with the customs which are practised even now in Egypt. For the boat which receives the bodies is called baris, and the passenger's fee is given to the boatman, who in the Egyptian tongue is called charon. And near these regions, they say, are also the "Shades," which is at temple of Hecate, and "portals" of Cocytus and Lethe, which are covered at intervals with bands of bronze. There are, moreover, other portals, namely, those of Truth, and near them stands a headless statue of Justice. Many other things as well, of which mythology tells, are still to be found among the Egyptians, the name being still preserved and the customs actually being practised. In the city of Acanthi, for instance, across the Nile in the direction of Libya one hundred and twenty stades from Memphis, there is a perforated jar to which three hundred and sixty priests, one each day, bring water from the Nile ; and not far fromthere the actual performance of Oneus is to be seen in one of their festivals, where a single man is weaving at one end of a long rope and many others beyond him are unravelling it." (Diodorus Siculus, Book I. 96, 97) And the people observed these initiatory rites, partly through their ignorance, partly because they were deceived through their ignorance, partly because they were attracted to them by the trustworthiness of Orpheus and his reputation is such matters, and most of all because they were glad to receive the god as a Greek, which, as has been said, is what he was considered to be. Later, after the writers of myths and poets had taken over this account of his ancestry, the theatres became filled with it and among following generations faith in the story grew stubborn and immutable. In general, they say, the Greeks appropriate to themselves the most renowed of both Egyptian heroes and gods, and also the colonies sent out by them. (Diodorus, Book I. 23) "They wear linen tunics with fringes hanging about the legs, called "calasiris" and loose white woollen mantles over these. But nothing of wool is brought into temples, or buried with them; that is forbidden. In this they follow the same rule as the ritual in Orphic and Bacchic; but which is in truth Egyptian and Pythagorean; for neither may those initiated into these rites be buried in woolen wrappings. There is a sacred legend about this." (Herodotus, Book II, 81) "On this lake [in Sais] it is that the Egyptians represent by night his [Osiris] sufferings whose name I refrain from mentioning, and this representation they call their Mysteries. I know well the whole course of the proceedings in these ceremonies, but they shall not pass my lips. So too, with regard the mysteries of Ceres, which the Greeks term "the Thesmophoria," I know them, but I shall not mention them, except so far as may be done without impiety. The daughters of Danaus brought these rites from Egypt, and taught them to the Pelasgic women of the Peloponnese." (Herodotus, Book II, 171) "He [Pythagoras] had three silver flagons made and took them as presents to each of the priests of Egypt...While still young, so eager was he for knowledge, he left his own country and had himself initiated into all the mysteries and rites not only of Greece but also of foreign countries. Now he was in Egypt when Polycrates sent him a letter of introduction to Amasis; he learnt the Egyptian language, so we learn from Antiphon in his book _On Men of Oustanding Merit_, and he also journeyed among the Chaldaens and Magi." (Diogenes Laertius, VIII. 2-4) "...Thales increased the reputation Pythagoras had already acquired, by communicating to him such disciplines as he was able to impart: and, apologizing for his old age, and the imbecility of his body, he exhorted him to sail into Egypt, and associate with the Memphian and Diosolitan priests. For he confessed that his own reputation for wisdom, was derived from the instructions of these priests; but that he was neither naturally, nor by exercise, endued with those excellend prerogatives, which were so visibly displayed in the person of Pythagoras. Thales, therefore, gladly announced to him, from all these circumstances, that he would become the wisest and most divine of all men, if he associated with these Egyptian priests." (Iamblichus, _Life of Pythagoras_, Chapter II) "He (Thales) had no instructor, except he when to Egypt and spent some time with the priests there...," (Diogenes Laertius, I. 2-29) "This is also confirmed by the most learned of Greeks such as Solon, Thales, Plato, Eudoxus, Pythagoras, and as some say, even Lycurgus going to Egypt and conversing with the priests; of whom they say Euxodus was a hearer of Chonuphis of Memphis, Solon of Sonchis of Sais, and Pythagoras of Oenuphis of Heliopolis. Wherefore the last named, being, as is probable, more than ordinarily admired by the men, and they also be him imitated their symbolic and mysterious way of talking; obscuring his sentiments with dark riddles. For the greatest part of Pythagoric precepts fall nothing short of those sacred writings they call hieroglyphical..." (Plutarch, _Morals_, 10) "If one were not determined to make haste, one might cite many admirable instances of the piety of the Egyptians, that piety which I am neither the first nor the only one to have observed; on the contrary, many contemporaries and predecessors have remarked it, of whom Pythagoras of Samos is one. On a visit to Egypt he became a student of the religion of the people, and was first to bring to the Greeks all philosophy, and more conspicously than others he seriously interested himself in sacrifices and in ceremonial purity, since he believed that even if should gain thereby no greater reward from the gods, among men, at any rate, his reputation would be greatly enhanced. (Isocrates, _Busiris_ 27-30) "...several Egyptians told me that in their opinion the Colchidians were descended from soldiers of Sesotris. I had conjectured as much myself from two pointers, firstly because they have black skins and kinky hair...and more reliably for the reason that alone among mankind the Egyptians and the Ethiopian have practiced circumcision since time immemorial." (Herodotus, Book II, 104) "Those who are too black are cowards, like for instance, the Egyptians and Ethiopians. But those who are excessively white are also cowards as we can see from the example of women, the complexion of courage is between the two." (?) (Aristotle, _Physiognomy_, 6) "Why are the Ethiopians and Egyptians bandy-legged? Is it because of that the body of itself creates, because of disturbance by heat, like loss of wood when they become dry? The condition of their hair supports this theory; for it is curlier than that of other nations..." (Aristotle, _Problemata_ 909, 7) Dialogue: Lycinus (describing an Egyptian): 'this boy is not merely black; he has thick lips and his legs are too thin...his hair worn in a plait shows that he is not a freeman.' Timolaus: 'but that is a sign of really distinguished birth in Egypt, Lycinus. All freeborn children plait their hair until they reach manhood...' (Lucian, _Navigations_, paras 2-3) Dialogue: "Aegyptos conquered the country of the black-footed ones and called it Egypt after himself" (Apollodorus, Book II, paras 3 and 4) Dialogue: Danaos (describing the Aegyptiads): 'I can see the crew with their black limbs and white tunics.' (Aeschylus, _The Suppliants_, vv. 719-20, 745) HERODOTUS, BK. II 30. "The Greeks tell many tales without due investigation, and among them the following silly fable respecting Hercules:-'Hercules,' they say, 'went once to Egypt, and there the inhabitants took him, and putting a chaplet on his head, led him out in solemn procession, intending to offer him a sacrifice to Jupiter. For a while he submitted quietly; but when they led him up to the altar and began the ceremonies, he put forth his strength and slew them all.' Now to me it seems that such a story proves the Greeks to be utterly ignorant of the character and customs of the people. The Egyptians do not think it allowable even to sacrifice cattle, excepting sheep, and the male kine and calves, provided they be pure, and also geese. How, then, can it be believed that they would sacrifice men? And again, how would it have been possible for Hercules alone, and, as they confess, a mere mortal, to destroy so many thousands? In saying thus much concerning these matters, may I incur no displeasure either of god or hero! " 31. "I mentioned above that some of the Egyptians abstain from sacrificing goats, either male or female. The reason is the following:- These Egyptians, who are the Mendesians, consider Pan to be one of the eight gods who existed before the twelve, and Pan is represented in Egypt by the painters and the sculptors, just as he is in Greece, with the face and legs of a goat. They do not, however, believe this to be his shape, or consider him in any respect unlike the other gods; but they represent him thus for a reason which I prefer not to relate. The Mendesians hold all goats in veneration, but the male more than the female, giving the goatherds of the males especial honour. One is venerated more highly than all the rest, and when he dies there is a great mourning throughout all the Mendesian canton. In Egyptian, the goat and Pan are both called Mendes. " 32. "To Bacchus, on the eve of his feast, every Egyptian sacrifices a hog before the door of his house, which is then given back to the swineherd by whom it was furnished, and by him carried away. In other respects the festival is celebrated almost exactly as Bacchic festivals are in Greece, excepting that the Egyptians have no choral dances. They also use instead of phalli another invention, consisting of images a cubit high, pulled by strings, which the women carry round to the villages. A piper goes in front, and the women follow, singing hymns in honour of Bacchus. They give a religious reason for the peculiarities of the image." 33. "Melampus, the son of Amytheon, cannot (I think) have been ignorant of this ceremony- nay, he must, I should conceive, have been well acquainted with it. He it was who introduced into Greece the name of Bacchus, the ceremonial of his worship, and the procession of the phallus. He did not, however, so completely apprehend the whole doctrine as to be able to communicate it entirely, but various sages since his time have carried out his teaching to greater perfection. Still it is certain that Melampus introduced the phallus, and that the Greeks learnt from him the ceremonies which they now practise. I therefore maintain that Melampus, who was a wise man, and had acquired the art of divination, having become acquainted with the worship of Bacchus through knowledge derived from Egypt, introduced it into Greece, with a few slight changes, at the same time that he brought in various other practices." 34. " For I can by no means allow that it is by mere coincidence that the Bacchic ceremonies in Greece are so nearly the same as the Egyptian- they would then have been more Greek in their character, and less recent in their origin. Much less can I admit that the Egyptians borrowed these customs, or any other, from the Greeks. My belief is that Melampus got his knowledge of them from Cadmus the Tyrian, and the followers whom he brought from Phoenicia into the country which is now called Boeotia. " 35. "Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt. My inquiries prove that they were all derived from a foreign source, and my opinion is that Egypt furnished the greater number. For with the exception of Neptune and the Dioscuri, whom I mentioned above, and Juno, Vesta, Themis, the Graces, and the Nereids, the other gods have been known from time immemorial in Egypt. This I assert on the authority of the Egyptians themselves." 36. "The gods, with whose names they profess themselves unacquainted, the Greeks received, I believe, from the Pelasgi, except Neptune. Of him they got their knowledge from the Libyans, by whom he has been always honoured, and who were anciently the only people that had a god of the name. The Egyptians differ from the Greeks also in paying no divine honours to heroes." 37."Besides these which have been here mentioned, there are many other practices whereof I shall speak hereafter, which the Greeks have borrowed from Egypt. The peculiarity, however, which they observe in their statues of Mercury they did not derive from the Egyptians, but from the Pelasgi; from them the Athenians first adopted it, and afterwards it passed from the Athenians to the other Greeks. For just at the time when the Athenians were entering into the Hellenic body, the Pelasgi came to live with them in their country, whence it was that the latter came first to be regarded as Greeks. Whoever has been initiated into the mysteries of the Cabiri will understand what I mean. The Samothracians received these mysteries from the Pelasgi, who, before they went to live in Attica, were dwellers in Samothrace, and imparted their religious ceremonies to the inhabitants. The Athenians, then, who were the first of all the Greeks to make their statues of Mercury in this way, learnt the practice from the Pelasgians; and by this people a religious account of the matter is given, which is explained in the Samothracian mysteries." 38. "In early times the Pelasgi, as I know by information which I got at Dodona, offered sacrifices of all kinds, and prayed to the gods, but had no distinct names or appellations for them, since they had never heard of any. They called them gods (Theoi, disposers), because they disposed and arranged all things in such a beautiful order. After a long lapse of time the names of the gods came to Greece from Egypt, and the Pelasgi learnt them, only as yet they knew nothing of Bacchus, of whom they first heard at a much later date." 39. "Not long after the arrival of the names they sent to consult the oracle at Dodona about them. This is the most ancient oracle in Greece, and at that time there was no other. To their question, 'Whether they should adopt the names that had been imported from the foreigners?' the oracle replied by recommending their use. Thenceforth in their sacrifices the Pelasgi made use of the names of the gods, and from them the names passed afterwards to the Greeks. 40. "Whence the gods severally sprang, whether or no they had all existed from eternity, what forms they bore- these are questions of which the Greeks knew nothing until the other day, so to speak. For Homer and Hesiod were the first to compose Theogonies, and give the gods their epithets, to allot them their several offices and occupations, and describe their forms; and they lived but four hundred years before my time, as I believe. As for the poets who are thought by some to be earlier than these, they are, in my judgment, decidedly later writers. In these matters I have the authority of the priestesses of Dodona for the former portion of my statements; what I have said of Homer and Hesiod is my own opinion. " 41."The following tale is commonly told in Egypt concerning the oracle of Dodona in Greece, and that of Ammon in Libya. My informants on the point were the priests of Jupiter at Thebes. They said `that two of the sacred women were once carried off from Thebes by the Phoenicians, and that the story went that one of them was sold into Libya, and the other into Greece, and these women were the first founders of the oracles in the two countries.' On my inquiring how they came to know so exactly what became of the women, they answered, `that diligent search had been made after them at the time, but that it had not been found possible to discover where they were; afterwards, however, they received the information which they had given me.' 42."This was what I heard from the priests at Thebes; at Dodona, however, the women who deliver the oracles relate the matter as follows: `Two black doves flew away from Egyptian Thebes, and while one directed its flight to Libya, the other came to them. She alighted on an oak, and sitting there began to speak with a human voice, and told them that on the spot where she was, there should henceforth be an oracle of Jove. They understood the announcement to be from heaven, so they set to work at once and erected the shrine. The dove which flew to Libya bade the Libyans to establish there the oracle of Ammon.' This likewise is an oracle of Jupiter. The persons from whom I received these particulars were three priestesses of the Dodonaeans, the eldest Promeneia, the next Timarete, and the youngest Nicandra- what they said was confirmed by the other Dodonaeans who dwell around the temple. " 43. "My own opinion of these matters is as follows:- I think that, if it be true that the Phoenicians carried off the holy women, and sold them for slaves, the one into Libya and the other into Greece, or Pelasgia (as it was then called), this last must have been sold to the Thesprotians. " 44. "Afterwards, while undergoing servitude in those parts, she built under a real oak a temple to Jupiter, her thoughts in her new abode reverting- as it was likely they would do, if she had been an attendant in a temple of Jupiter at Thebes- to that particular god. Then, having acquired a knowledge of the Greek tongue, she set up an oracle. She also mentioned that her sister had been sold for a slave into Libya by the same persons as herself. 45."The Dodonaeans called the women doves because they were foreigners, and seemed to them to make a noise like birds. After a while the dove spoke with a human voice, because the woman, whose foreign talk had previously sounded to them like the chattering of a bird, acquired the power of speaking what they could understand. For how can it be conceived possible that a dove should really speak with the voice of a man? Lastly, by calling the dove black the Dodonaeans indicated that the woman was an Egyptian. And certainly the character of the oracles at Thebes and Dodona is very similar. Besides this form of divination, the Greeks learnt also divination by means of victims from the Egyptians. " 46."The Egyptians were also the first to introduce solemn assemblies, processions, and litanies to the gods; of all which the Greeks were taught the use by them. It seems to me a sufficient proof of this that in Egypt these practices have been established from remote antiquity, while in Greece they are only recently known. "
Statue of Ramses II at Abu Simbel (second from the right). The
sham beards worn by the Pharaohs and clearly displayed here had texture
resembling common Africoid hair.
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