The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 150.

or ladanisterion than the whip of a charioteer. But from the chest down the body is swathed like a mummy, which suggests Osiris. Apparently the stone indicates a tendency to endow even the Lord of the Dead with solar attributes. This seems to be borne out by the inscription Iao in the field and by the fact that the design is on the reverse of a stone whose obverse represents the solar anguipede. Sarapis, who is in many ways the successor of Osiris, is sometimes represented with rays or other solar attributes,13 the tendency to identify him with Helios indicated not only by coins and inscriptions, but also by the oracular verse, cited by Julian,
εἷς Ζεύς, εἷς Ἀίδης, εἷς Ἥλιός ἐστι Σάραπις.14
But I know of no certain instance of Sarapis represented as a mummy; the nearest approach to it is the rigid figure clothed, almost swathed, in a narrow, close-fitting tunic, which is the reverse design of an Osiris amulet in my possession. See D. 1.
On some examples the sun-god is riding or standing on the back of a lion. The deity is sometimes clearly characterized as the young Horus (Harpocrates), as on a noteworthy specimen in the Metropolitan Museum; here Harpocrates not only has the disk overhead and carries the flail, but he also wears the scalplock of the Egyptian child.15 Most, however, represent him as the Greek Helios. The lion introduces into the composition a non-Greek element. Various oriental deities, Babylonian, Hittite, and Syrian, are shown standing on the backs of certain animals, but the lion seems to have a special reference to the sun. This appears in a passage of Horapollo (1, 17) which contains some truth along with its absurdities:
“When they wish to indicate ‘anger,’ they draw a lion, for the animal has a large head and fiery eyes. Its face round, and a raylike mane surrounds it, resembling the sun. For this reason they place lions under the throne of Horus, suggesting the symbolic relation of the beast to the god. Horus is Helios, so called because he rules the hours (ὡρῶν).”16
More important as evidence are the fairly numerous works of older Egyptian art in which the lion is represented in connection with Horus, or the god has the head of a lion.17 Since the association of lion and sun is well known in Egyptian religion, one should not be too ready to accept the often repeated statement that amulets bearing such designs are Mithraic. It is true that both sun and lion have their places in Mithraism, and it is true also that amulets showing those designs are sometimes inscribed with words that are neither Egyptian nor Greek. But unless there is definite evidence

13 B. M. Cat. Alex., 284, Pl. 15; Dittenberger, OGI, 678, 3; Hesperia, 13, 34 and n. 17.
14 Or. 4, 136 A.
16 Compare also Plut. Sympos. 4, 5, 2; Ael. N. A. 12, 7; Hopfner, Der Tierkult der alten Aegypter (Denkschr. Wien. Akad., 57 Spier, Gems on CBd-816, 2, 40–47); Kees in PW XII, 2055.
17 Lanzone, Pls. 228, 4; 244, 1.

Last modified: 2012-10-30 11:05:13

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