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Fourth Explanation 2


Legends of the Gods

The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations

by E. A. Wallis Budge

London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trübner & Co. Ltd.

[1912]


THE HISTORY OF ISIS AND OSIRIS

WITH EXPLANATIONS OF THE SAME, COLLECTED BY PLUTARCH, AND SUPPLEMENTED BY HIS OWN VIEWS


FIFTH EXPLANATION OF THE STORY

XLIV

The philosophers say that the story is nothing but an enigmatical description of the phenomena of Eclipses.

XLV

Plutarch discusses the five explanations which he has described, and begins to state his own views about them. It must be concluded, he says, that none of these explanations taken by itself contains the true explanation of the foregoing history, though all of them together do.

Typhon means every phase of Nature which is hurtful and destructive, not only drought, darkness, the sea, It is impossible that any one cause, be it bad or even good, should be the common principle of all things. There must be two opposite and quite different and distinct Principles.

XLVI

Plutarch compares this view with the Magian belief in Ormazd and Ahriman, the former springing from light, and the latter from darkness.

XLVII

Ormazd made six good gods, and Ahriman six of a quite contrary nature. Ormazd increased his own bulk three times, and adorned the heaven with stars, making the Sun to be the guard of the other stars. He then created twenty-four other gods, and placed them in an egg, and Ahriman also created twenty-four gods; the latter bored a hole in the shell of the egg and effected an entrance into it, and thus good and evil became mixed together.

XLVIII

Plutarch quotes Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Aristotle, and Plato in support of his hypothesis of the Two Principles, and refers to Plato's Third Principle.

XLIX

Osiris represents the good qualities of the universal Soul, and Typhon the bad; Bebo 1 is a malignant being like Typhon, with whom Manetho identifies him.

L

The ass, crocodile, and hippopotamus are all associated with Typhon; in the form of a crocodile Typhon escaped from Horus. 2

The cakes offered on the seventh day of the month Tybi have a hippopotamus stamped on them.

LI

Osiris symbolizes wisdom and power, and Typhon all that is malignant and bad.

The remaining sections contain a long series of fanciful statements by Plutarch concerning the religion and manners and customs of the Egyptians, of which the Egyptian texts now available give no proofs.


Footnotes

1 In Egyptian, BEBI, or BABA, or BABAI, he was the first-born Son of Osiris.

2 See the Legend of Heru-Behutet,


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Main Index

Contents Preface Plates Introduction Destruction of Mankind Ra and Isis Heru-Behutet Birth of Horus Khensu Nefer-hetep Khnemu Horus Isis and Osiris History of Creation A History of Creation B Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Osiris, Origin of Horus Ra and Isis Horus and the winged disk Ptah and the Princess The God Khnemu Incantations A spell on the Cat The Death of Horus 2 The Narrative of Isis Isis and Osiris 1 Isis and Osiris 2 Isis and Osiris 3 Isis and Osiris 4 Isis and Osiris 5 Isis and Osiris 6 Isis and Osiris 7 Fourth Explanation 1 Fourth Explanation 2


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