Sobk And The Crocodile Cult Of Karanis

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PostTue Sep 11, 2012 6:21 pm » by Kinninigan


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THE TEMPLES AND THE GODS

The people of Karanis inhabited an environment that reflected their religious preoccupations at every turn. The imposing stone walls of the North and South Temples proclaimed the central role of the public cults in the life of the town. In addition, images of the deities, amulets, votives, and equipment used in the celebration of religious rites were to be found in even the most intimate quarters, constantly reminding one of the ever-present gods. The names of many of the deities are recorded in papyrus documents, and a few are inscribed in stone. In all, about twenty-seven divinities are known. Of these, approximately half belonged to the indigenous Egyptian pantheon and half to that of the Greeks. Together these deities, many of whom claimed special jurisdiction over the fecundity of the earth, present a picture of a religious life typical of agrarian communities throughout Egypt in Graeco-Roman times.1 Not until late antiquity did Christianity make significant inroads into the domains of the ancient gods of the land.


The Cult of the Crocodile

Among the cults of Karanis more is known about that of the crocodile god, Sobk, than any other. Familiar to the Greeks as Souchos, the crocodile, although not worshipped everywhere in Egypt, had held sway in the Fayoum since earliest Dynastic times.2 His cult was centered in Shedyet (Crocodilopolis) but many locales in this region maintained temples in his honor.3 In the two known temples of Karanis, Souchos was worshipped in three guises - as Pnepheros, Petesouchos and Soknopaios.4

The powers of the crocodile god were thought to have extended to the very creation of the world. Lake Moeris, in the Fayoum, was regarded as the primeval ocean (Nun) of ancient myth wherein all forms of life originated.5 It was at Shedyet, according to myth, that the primordial mound arose out of the waters of this ocean, and life appeared on the earth for the first time. The crocodile, which emerged silently and mysteriously from the waters of the lakes and river, could be likened to the primeval mound and was thus believed to embody the elemental powers of creation.6 Although a treacherous creature, it was considered a benefactor of the land, analogous to the Nile itself whose threatening floodwaters nonetheless ensured the perpetuity of life. Writing in the fifth century BC, Herodotus confirms the Egyptians' traditional belief in the elemental power of this beast and its ability to transform human beings into something approaching the divine:

When anyone, be he Egyptian or stranger, is known to have been carted off by a crocodile or drowned by the river itself, such a one must by all means be embalmed and tended as fairly as may be and buried in a sacred coffin by the townsmen of the place where he is cast up; nor may his kinfolk or his friends touch him, but his body is deemed something more than human, and is handled and buried by the priests of the Nile themselves.7

The priests of the crocodile cult at Karanis would have been schooled in such age-old theological tenets and myths, but whether the cosmic significance of the god was understood by the average person in Graeco-Roman times is perhaps doubtful. Indeed, accounts dating to the Roman period suggest that, by and large, the divinity of the crocodile had come to be understood in more concrete terms.

Diodorus of Sicily, who wrote in the first century AD, expressed skepticism at the notion of the deification of crocodiles:

... a subject regarding which most men are entirely at a loss to explain how, when these beasts eat the flesh of men, it even became the law to honour like the gods creatures of the most revolting habits.8

He found that Egyptians themselves varied in their views of why the crocodile was held sacred. Some claimed that it ensured the safety of the country since foreign robbers were prevented from crossing the river into Egypt because of the great number of crocodiles in it. Others explained that the crocodile had saved an early king from his own vicious dogs by carrying him on its back to the other Ode of Lake Moeris and that on this account the king commanded the inhabitants of the region to pay homage to the beast.9 Plutarch, writing at about the same time, found the reasons for deification to reside in the character and habits of the crocodile itself:

... it is said to be the only tongueless creature and thus a likeness of God. For the divine reason does not need a voice, and

passing on a noiseless path,

Guides mortal things aright;


(Eur. Tro. 887-8)

and they say that the crocodile, alone of creatures that live in the water, has covering is eyes a smooth transparent membrane which comes down from its forehead, so that it sees without being seen to do so, which is true of the highest God.10

Moreover, both Plutarch and Pliny the Elder maintained that the crocodile was a prophet of the annual inundation, since the females, sensing the levels of the coming flood, would lay their eggs just beyond the anticipated high water mark.11 Further, according to Plutarch, they lay sixty eggs and hatch them in so many days and those who live longest live for this number of years, which is the primary measure for those concerned with heavenly phenomena.12

Temples and Ceremonies

While it may not be possible from these varying accounts to know how the ordinary citizens of Karanis regarded the crocodile god, some idea of how they worshipped this divinity may be gained both from the architecture of the North and South Temples and from related sanctuaries at other towns in the Fayoum. Like all Egyptian temples, these sacred structures were the abodes of the god, in which,. given the proper invocations, he would appear to his devotees. As Henri Frankfort, a prominent historian of Egyptian art and thought, has articulated this concept,

... the temple, in Egypt, was a place of power. The gods were immanent in nature, and hence difficult to localize. The temple cast a spell, as it were, on a given spot where divinities might be approached.13

The form of the temple building was prescribed by Egyptian religious tradition, and scholars of Egyptian architecture have interpreted its plan as a cosmic metaphor.14 Approached along a causeway, open air courts precede a series of enclosed rooms which gradually diminish in size, an arrangement which provided an ideal model symbolic of the universe at the beginning of time. Even in the use of stone for the temple walls, the permanence of this universe was proclaimed.

At the South Temple of Karanis one may observe this typical arrangement. A paved walk leads to a colonnaded courtyard which like all such temple courtyards, symbolized the primordial marsh. The columns represented the plants of the marsh but, by rendering them in stone, their perishable nature had been overcome and their essence preserved. Beyond the courtyard lay the temple building proper. The first and largest chamber gave access to a smaller room which served as a vestibule to the innermost chamber which housed the sacred shrine. in this sanctuary, a high platform or altar represented the primeval mound.15 Here, probably in dim torchlight or in darkness broken only by rays of the sun entering through the doorway, sacred rites were performed by the priests to invoke an epiphany of the god.16

We can do no more than speculate upon the nature of the various duties and ceremonies performed by the priests of the North and South Temples at Karanis, for no records of them have come down to us from the town. Herodotus informs us of some of the practices of the crocodile cult both at Thebes and in the Fayoum in the fifth century BC, which included the elaborate care of the live animals as well as their mummification after death:

There, in every place one crocodile is kept, trained to be tame; they put ornaments of glass and gold on its ears and bracelets on its forefeet, provide for it special food and offerings, and give the creatures the best of treatment while they live; after death the crocodiles are embalmed and buried in sacred coffins.17

Strabo, writing in the first century BC of his visit to Crocodilopolis, confirms some of the observations of Herodotus. He reports that the tamed crocodile, called Souchos, was kept in a lake on the temple grounds and was fed grain, pieces of meat, wine and milk mixed with honey brought by foreigners who came to see the divine creature.18

At Karanis there is no evidence to indicate that live crocodiles were kept within the temple precincts. However, numerous crocodile mummies which had been buried together were discovered, and certain architectural features of the temples attest that mummified animals were used in the temple ceremonies. Deep niches in the inner walls of the vestibules of both the North and the South Temples evidently were used to store the mummies, which were brought out on biers for display upon the high altar. Behind the altars of both temples are recesses into which the ends of the biers may have been placed.19 Similar architectural features are found in other temples of the crocodile god in the Fayoum.20

Very likely, the ceremony performed by the priests included the "unveiling, aspersing, censing, and anointing" of the mummified god, and the presentation of offerings.21 Animals would have been sacrificed and their burnt flesh presented to the god. Probably the remains of the sacrificial offering would have been consumed by the priests at a sacred banquet, possibly in the company of wealthy citizens of the town.22 In the South Temple precinct, a large hall was constructed for this purpose during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian (AD 69-79). Other specially equipped rooms within the temple complex must also have served particular purposes. One room held a large vat, possibly used for lustral baths,23 but the function of others which were provided with water vessels and drains remains obscure.24

During the ceremonies conducted within the temple proper, the duties of the priests probably included the presentation of petitions on behalf of lay devotees who were not allowed within the hallowed shrine. The daily concerns of the average person were submitted to the god in writing in the hope of obtaining advice through an oracular responses.25 A document from the year AD 6 addressed to Soknopaios, exemplifies such petitions:

To the most great and mighty god Socnopaeus, from Asclepiades son of Arius. Is it granted me to marry Tapetheus daughter of Marres; will she certainly be none other's wife? Show me and give me authoritative answer to this written inquiry ... Formerly Tapetheus was Horion's wife.26

A peculiar detail of the construction of the altars of the North and South Temples may indicate that provision had been made for the utterance of oracles. Within each altar is a small chamber which can be entered through a low opening along one side. It would have been possible for a priest to remain hidden inside the altar while delivering the appropriate responses on behalf of the god.27 Along both sides of the South Temple, several houses were discovered within the precinct wall which may have served the needs of such worshipers, some of whom might have traveled from a distance. Several rooms are provided with benches built along the walls where one could rest until it was time to enter the temple and await the outcome of one's petition to the god.28

At various times throughout the year, during religious festivals, the image of the god was taken out of his temple and was carried in procession through the town. Frescoes depicting a procession of the crocodile god were discovered at the temple of Pnepheros at Theadelphia in the Fayoum.29 The noted Egyptologist, Cyril Aldred, conjures up a lively image of what the emotional climate must have been like on such an occasion:

His image, suitably veiled or hidden in the primeval shrine, was placed on a litter and carried on the shoulders of his priests in procession.... As the cortege went on its circuit amid the shouts of the populace, the chanting of the temple choir, the blowing of trumpets, the beating of drums, the rattling of sistra, and the burning of incense, emotions rose to a pitch of hysteria, and in such a frenzy the moment was ripe for the god to intervene in the affairs of man by giving oracular answers to suppliants by the spasmodic movements of the litter and the shoulders of its bearers. So the morale of true believers was sustained by the presence of the god in their midst, by the evidence of his divine power, and by his concern in their everyday affairs.30

The Wider Pantheon

Such ceremonies and festivals would not have been restricted to the cult of the crocodile at Karanis. Although the portal inscriptions of the South Temple name only Pnepheros and Petesouchos, images of several gods found within the South Temple complex and of two more deities in the North suggest that the crocodile gods shared their venerable abodes. A case in point is that of the youthful god, Harpocrates, no fewer than eight images of whom derive from the South Temple complex.31


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Figure 65: HARPOCRATES, THE CHILD-GOD, HOLDS A POTTERY VESSEL SYMBOLIC OF ABUNDANCE


The cult of Harpocrates flourished in Egypt during the Roman era; and we know from three notices in the tax rolls that there was a priest of his cult at Karanis.32 Moreover, many additional images of Harpocrates, in paintings as wellas terracotta figurines, were found in the granaries and houses throughout the town, indicating that the god was highly esteemed in the private sphere as well.33 The popularity of Harpocrates in agrarian communities like Karanis may be attributed, in large part, to his close association with the fertility of the earth. Harpocrates, or Horus the Child, was thought to have been conceived by Isis after the murder and dismemberment of her husband, Osiris, by his wicked brother; Seth. According to the well-known myth, Isis traveled over the whole land gathering up the pans of the body of Osiris, and then magically restored him to life. Thereafter, Osiris reigned in the underworld as lord of life after death. This myth, central to Egyptian religion in all periods, was readily related by ordinary people to the cycle of the agricultural year. In fact, this was so common that Plutarch speaks disparagingly of

... the many boring people who find pleasure in associating the activities of these gods with the seasonal changes of the atmosphere or with the growth, sowing and ploughing of crops, and who say that Osiris is being buried when the corn is sown and hidden in the earth, and that he lives again and reappears when it begins to sprout.
34

As regards the infant god Harpocrates, Plutarch goes on to report the generally held belief that Isis

... at the winter solstice gave birth to Harpocrates, imperfect and prematurely born, amid plants that burgeoned and sprouted before their season (and so they bring to him as offering the first-fruits of growing lentils)....35

In keeping with the humble faith of the farmer, many of the terracotta figurines of Harpocrates from Karanis show the young god with such symbols of the land's fertility as cornucopiae and pottery jars. Harpocrates probably also appealed to the masses of people as a patron deity of childhood and as an instructive model to youth.36 According to the myth, this child of Isis and Osiris grew up to avenge the death of his father and so could be held as an ideal of filial virtue.

In the Roman period the cult of Harpocrates was often merged with those of other gods, including that of the crocodile, and perhaps it was in this context that his cult was administered at Karanis.37 Among the images of Harpocrates from the South Temple area is a fragment of a magical cippus of a type which depicts the young god standing on the backs of two crocodiles. In this guise he was considered to be the shyer of the menacing beasts rather than their divine ally.38 The cippus thus suggests aspects of ambiguity in the Egyptian worship of certain animals, which, in reality, they had good reason to fear.


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Figure 66: ISIS. THE TORSO OF THIS MARBLE STATUE WAS FOUND IN THE INNER COURT OF THE NORTH TEMPLE.


Multiple images of Isis found at Karanis attest that devotion to her cult was also widespread in the town, and the tax rolls twice mention her priests.39 A marble torso of her found in the inner court of the North Temple, along with two images of Soknopaios, suggests that her official cult was located there. Isis was revered throughout the Roman world not only as a model of marital and maternal devotion but also as a goddess of supreme and all-encompassing powers.40 In the Fayoum, at Soknopaiou Nesos, her cult was joined to that of Soknopaios, and it seems likely that this was the case at Karanis as well.41 Appropriately, in the guise of Soknopaios, the crocodile god took on aspects of the character of Horns, the goddess's son. Although represented with a reptilian body, he was given the head of the Horns hawk.42


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Figure 67: SOKNOPAIOS WITH A REPTILIAN BODY AND THE HEAD OF A HAWK. FROM THE INNER COURT OF THE NORTH TEMPLE.


One of the most striking portrayals of Isis to have survived Karanis is a wall painting from a private house in which she is shown holding the infant Harpocrates to her breast.43 It is easy to understand how strongly the maternal aspect of this deity would have appealed to the women of the town. Only the ugly dwarf-god, Bes, patron of women in childbirth, seems to have rivaled Isis in the domestic sphere, judging from the great numbers of amulets of him that were found. Isis was also worshipped at Karanis in a specifically agrarian form, identified with the cobra goddess, Thermouthis, whose particular charge was to protect the harvested grain. Sculptures of Isis-Thermouthis with serpentine tail, along with votive footprints dedicated to her, were found in private dwellings, where they were probably originally displayed in household shrines.44

Osiris, the third member of the mythical trial is represented among the finds from Karanis by only two terracotta figurines, one of which comes from the South Temple where his cult could have been linked with that of the crocodile gods.45 Worship of Osiris may, however, have been overshadowed by that of Sarapis, the Graeco-Egyptian god whose cult was encouraged by the Ptolemies as a means of integrating the religious beliefs of the native Egyptians with those of the immigrant Greeks. The persona of Sarapis first emerged from that of Osiris, who was worshipped at Memphis in the guise of the Apis-bull (Osir-apis); but under the Ptolemies, Sarapis also acquired the characteristic powers of three Greek divinities: Hades, god of the underworld, Asklepios, god of health, and Zeus, chief among the Olympians.46 As a god of fecundity and resurrection, Sarapis enjoyed great popularity within Egypt in Roman times. His cult, like that of Iris, spread throughout the Roman world. The countenance of Sarapis has survived in several fine sculptures from Karanis, and there is a partially preserved image of him enthroned among other deities in a wall painting from a private house.47 The official center of his cult at Karanis was very likely located in the North Temple, along with those of Isis and Soknopaios. Here a large fire altar bearing the head of Sarapis-Zeus-Amon-Helios, as the god was commonly called in Roman times, was found in the rubble which had tumbled from the outer court of the sanctuary.48


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Figure 71: FIRE ALTAR WITH THE HEAD OF SARPIS-ZEUS-AMON-HELIOS FROM THE OUTER COURT OF THE NORTH TEMPLE.


In addition to the crocodile nome god and the divine triad of Isis, Sarapis, and Harpocrates, many other deities, both Greek and Egyptian, claimed devotees in the town. Often it is not possible to tell whether these gods had separate cults, for the tendency to identify counterparts within each pantheon was common since the Greeks first settled in Egypt.49 Herodotus gives a scattered account of the various equivalents that were known in his day, and Plutarch, writing more than six centuries later, confirms that the great Egyptian gods were known by other names in other lands. Plutarch was concerned that people .

. . preserve the gods as our common heritage and do not make them the peculiar property of the Egyptians. Nor should they comprehend under these names merely the Nile and only the land which the Nile waters, nor speak of marshes and lotus-flowers as the only work of the gods. By so doing they would take these great gods from the rest of mankind, who have no Nile or Buto or Memphis. But Isis and the gods related to her belong to all men and are known to them; even though they have not long since learnt to call some of them by their Egyptian names, they have understood and honoured the power of each god from the beginnings.

An especially striking example of the combining of cults at Karanis is found in the wall painting from a private house, mentioned above. Here the Greek Eleusinian deities, Persephone, Demeter and Triptolemus, stand alongside the thrones of Isis (?) and Sarapis in the company of several other divinities whose identities are uncertain.51 On the adjacent wall, a nude female figure very likely represents Aphrodite, a goddess who was honored particularly in the private sphere, either in purely Greek form or identified with Hathor, Isis or another Egyptian counterpart. Numerous statuettes of Aphrodite were found at Karanis, and it is tempting to think that these may have belonged to young brides. In Roman times, a typical dowry would have included an image of the goddess of love.52


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Figure 72: APHRODITE. BRONZE STATUETTE OF THE GREEK GODDESS OF LOVE FOUND IN HOUSE 418.


Sculpted representations of the Greek divinities Herakles, Eros, Priapus and possibly Apollo have survived while Dionysus, Hades, Moira and Zeus are only mentioned in the papyri, the last three in an epigram of a Greek youth.53 From the Egyptian pantheon of gods whose presence is known from the archeological remains are Nefertum and Nilos, the latter often closely identified with the crocodile god of the nome.54 Imhotep (who was identified with Asklepios), Anubis (the counterpart of Hermes as guide to the underworld), and Apis are named in the papyri, but about their worship at Karanis little more is known. Most of these gods may have been honored at household shrines, while for some the written testimony suggests that actual sanctuaries were maintained.55 Possibly there were other temples in the town which were destroyed by the sebbakhin, although if they were made of stone they would have required great effort to dismantle. More likely, the South and North Temples were host to many gods, as was common in Egypt especially in Graeco-Roman times.



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Figure 73: NILOS, THE RIVER GOD OF EGYPT, SHOWN PROPPED AGAINST A PARTIALLY PRESERVED CORNUCOPIA AND SPHINX.



TEMPLES IN PROSPERITY AND DECLINE

In any case, the public temples surely had a dominant place in the religious life of the town, and they no doubt served as the focus of much of its economic life as well. As in most Egyptian towns in the Roman period, market places and craftsmen's shops probably clustered close by the walls of the sacred precincts. In fact the walls of the North Temple are incised with graffiti, repeating the Greek word topos (place or site) at varying intervals. Some have thought these to signify a dedication of some sort, but one scholar believes that they marked the spaces allotted to individual merchants for their stalls.56 Further, while there is no certain evidence to indicate that the priests themselves engaged in the sale of goods in the manner of private businessmen, there can be no question that at Karanis, as at many other towns of this period, certain trades were attached to the temples, probably to produce income. Papyri from Karanis attest that sheep shearers, and wool merchants and possibly fullers operated under the aegis of the temple.57 Commercial enterprises of this sort undoubtedly produced a substantial portion of the revenue that went toward maintaining the temples and their staffs and toward paying for the supplies needed for various cult ceremonies and festivals. Some of the items commonly required for these purposes included:

... robes for the gods and spice and ointments for sacrifices, the care of cult animals. . ., embalming of the sacred crocodile,. . Oil ... for annointing and for illumination, and wine ... for purification and other ceremonial uses.58

At many towns in Egypt income was derived from the leasing of lands owned by the temples -- lands which were often acquired by gift or bequest. It is not known whether this was the case at Karanis, but the tax rolls do record the payment of the gera, apparently levied on offerings received by the priests.59 Other forms of private donation are also known. An inscription from the South Temple precinct names one Apollonius, sitologus (superintendent) of the granaries, as the donor of a gateway on the north side of the precinct, a gift which he made in the reign of the Emperor Commodus (AD 180- 192).60

Much of the revenue collected by an Egyptian temple in the Roman era was paid out in taxation. In addition to the gera on offerings, the priests at Karanis paid the epistatikon, a levy which in Ptolemaic times, may have covered the salary of a government agent. The Roman administration continued to collect the tax but evidently did not retain the agent.61 Other taxes imposed by the Roman government on Egyptian temples took the form of initiation fees and the sale of priestly offices. Although the priesthood was hereditary in Egypt, initiation fees were collected when one entered into any of the offices in the hierarchy.62 Among the posts sold to the highest bidder were those of prophet, stolistes, pastophoros, palm bearer, and image bearer. No record of these transactions survives from Karanis, but one can be sure that the practice obtained here as throughout the province.

It was common in the third century AD for priests to abandon their posts, and with their defection the local cults fell into decline.63 At Karanis, the North and South Temples, which had been in steady use since the early Roman period were deserted at about this time.64 The reason most often cited for the abandonment of the old gods is the spread of Christianity. By the fourth century in Egypt, monastic communities, which had first developed on Egyptian soil, were well established. In both a religious and an economic sense, they had supplanted the traditions of the pagan shrines.65 Evidence for the rising strength of Christianity among the townspeople of Karanis does not come from places of worship. It emerges rather from numerous objects of household use such as pottery, lamps and textiles which came to be ornamented with emblems of the new faith. Many of the imported African Red Slip platters and bowls found at Karanis are impressed with crosses, lambs, or images of saints. Painted vessels show fish, birds, hares and other fauna which had served as symbols of the old religion but were now adapted to the new. Lamps, some in the form of frogs which signified to the ancient Egyptian the fertility goddess, Heqet, became symbols of resurrection to the believer in Christ.66 Small crosses of bone, wood, and colored glass as well as garment fragments in which the same designs are woven, all attest to the widespread acceptance of Christianity by the people of the town.


Image
Figure 75: CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS ON A PLATTER, LAMP AND AMULETS BEAR WITNESS TO THE NEW RELIGION AT KARANIS.


The old gods did not disappear without a trace, however. In the third or fourth century school children still practiced writing the names of Egyptian and Greek gods on broken pieces of pottery. One of these may even have been the work of a Jewish child, for the sherd seems to preserve the word "Sabbath" among the names of the gods.67 In the Christian context such images as that of Isis holding the infant Harpocrates may have been understood as the Virgin and Child, just as the rider-god Heron became the model for many, a Christian saint.68 A century after the temples had fallen into ruin, the majority of the population of Karanis had converted to the new faith, but echoes of the town's pagan past continued to be heard for another hundred years until all life at Karanis ceased.


NOTES

(1) Rubsam 98-104; Grenfell, Hunt and Hogarth, 32-34; Shelton, 33-36. See Dunand, 1979, 107-108 for a discussion of fertility gods in an agrarian setting.

(2) Herodotus, II.69; Strabo, 17.1.44-47; Dolzani, 173- 74.

(3) Toutain, 12; Habachi, 1955, 108; Kuentz, 1929, 169-70; Kees, 1931, cols. 541-51.

(4) Grenfell, Hunt and Hogarth, 30-35; Boak, 1933, 13-14; Peterson in Boak, 1933, 17-55; Yeivin, 72.

(5) Kees, 1961, 224.

(6) Aldred, 1978, 32-33.

(7) Herodotus, II.90.

(8) Diodorus Siculus, 1.89.1-2.

(9) Ibid., I.89.3.

(1O) Plutarch, De Is. et Os., 75.

(11) Plutarch, op. cit.; Pliny, VIII.37.89.

(12) Plutarch, op. cit.

(13) Frankfort, 155.

(14) Frankfort, 150-55; Aldred, 1978, 37-38.

(15) Frankfort, 153.

(16) Peterson in Boak, 1933, 51.

(17) Herodotus, 11.69.

(18) Strabo, 17.1.38

(19) Boak, 1933, 9 and 13; Peterson in Boak, 1933, 52-53.

(20) Breccia, 117.

(21) Aldred, 1978, 57.

(22) For banquets of Sarapis see Bell, 94 and Youtie, 1948, 13-27.

(23) Peterson in Boak, 1933, 41. See Herodotus, II.35 on the frequent bathing of priests.

(24) Ibid., 36-38.

(25) Bell, 95; Dolzani, 212.

(26) Bell, 95 (W.Chr. 122). This letter is not from Karanis.

(27) Boak, 1933, 9; Peterson in Boak, 1933, 53.

(28) Peterson in Boak, 1933, 40.

(29) Breccia, 105-106 and 120.

(30) Aldred 1978, 61-6, see Dunand, 1979, 93-94 for such religious processions.

(31) Gazda et al., Appendix nos. 25, 64, 70, 74, 76, 77, 78, 82.

(32) Dunand, 1975, 162; idem., 1979, 73-87; Witt, 210-21; Youtie and Pearl, 1939, pt. II, P. 140; Riibsam, 98-99; Shelton, 33-34.

(33) Gazda, et al, Cat. nos. 22, 49, 63, 64 and Appendix nos. 65-69, 71-73, 75, 79-81.

(34) Plutarch, De Is. et Os., 65.

(35) Ibid.

(36) Gods of Egypt, 33.

(37) Milne, 1924, 210-1 1; Griffiths, 44; Dolzani, 220-24.

(38) Gazda, et al., Appendix no. 25; cp. Gods of Egypt, nos. 15, 16; Dolzani, 167; Plutarch, De Is. et Os., 19; Griffiths, 346.

(39) Gazda et. al., Cat. nos. 24, 26, 52, 65 and Appendix nos. 83-86; Youtie and Pearl, 1939, pt. II, P. 140; Riibsam, 99-100; Shelton, 34.

(40) Dunand, 1973, passim; Witt, passim.

(41) Kees, 1931, col. 558. For Isis and Pnepheros at Theadelphia see Breccia, 120; for Karanis, Boak, 1933, 13-14

(42) Toutain, 177; Boak, 1933, 13; Kees, 1931, cols. 551-52; Dolzani, 185 and 217; Gazda et al., Cat. no.31-32

(43) Boak and Peterson, P. 34 fig. 49. On the maternal nature of Isis see Dunand, 1979, 60-70.

(44) Gazda et al., pp. 13-14 and Cat. nos. 26 (IsisThermouthisl and 34 (footprint); Dunand, 1979, 63-66.

(45) Gazda et al., Appendix nos. 89-90; Kees, 1931, col. 553-54

(46) Dunand, 1979, 87-92; idem., 1975, 160-61; idem., 1973, I, 45-66; Brady, 9-12.

(47) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 28-30, 47, 54; Parlasca, p. 212, pl. 46, 1.

(48) Boak, 1933, 12.

(49) Dunand, 1975, passim.

(50) Plutarch, De Is. et Os., 66.

51) Parlasca, P. 212, pl. 46, 1.

(52) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 16-20, 39, 40, 48, Appendix 14; Bell, 87 on dowries; Johnson, 1936, 521 notes a tax on the holy ground of Aphrodite.

(53) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 21, 23, 27, 41-45; Rilbsam, 102-103.

(54) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 26, 53, Appendix 27.

(55) Riibsam, 98-104.

(56) Yeivin, 78-79; Johnson, 642.

(57) Johnson, 1936, 642-43; Shelton, 37.

(58) Johnson, 1936, 645.

(59) Johnson, 1936, 640 on lands; idem., 556 on gera.

(6O) Grenfell, Hunt and Hogarth, 34; Peterson in Boak, 1933, 42.

(61) Johnson, 1936, 562.

(62) Herodotus, 11.40 on hereditary priesthood; Johnson, 1936, 645-46 on sale of offices.

(63) Johnson, 1936, 647.

(64) The North Temple was in use between the early first and mid third century AD according to Boak, 1933, 14-15; the South Temple site was occupied from the first century BC until the late third or early fourth century AD. See Peterson in Boak, 1933, 20.

(65) Johnson, 1936, 647.

(66) Sheir 1978, 24 and 48.

(67) Robsam, 104. The interpretation of these ostraka is however, controversial, as Rübsam points out.

(68) Witt, ch. 20; Bell, 88-89.


http://www.umich.edu/~kelseydb/Exhibits ... mple2.html








Image

Sobk

Middle-Kingdom period head of the crocodile-god Sobek from the Faiyum Oasis, the god's foremost cult centre (much of his face has been restored). Sobek was portrayed as a man with a crocodile's head, or entirely in reptile form, with sacred crocodiles being kept as 'living images of the god' at some of his temples in the Faiyum. He was seen to embody and thereby placate some of the more hostile elements of Nature.

One of the country's finest museums, the Ashmolean covers all facets of ancient history across the globe up to the medieval period and beyond, along with a fine art collection from the Renaissance to the Pre Raphaelites.

The collections are housed in a magnificent neo-classical building by C.S.Cockerell which been recently re-ordered within to create dramatic new gallery spaces. The work recently concluded with the refurbishment of the Egyptian galleries, reopened in late 2011, with the exhibits displayed to far better advantage than before with improved space and lighting.

http://www.ashmolean.org/

















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PostWed Oct 31, 2012 5:42 am » by Kinninigan


:look:


More on the crocodile cult. Our modern word "messiah" comes from the tradition of being anointed in crocodile fat to absorb reptilian energy..

My quest for the truth about reptilians has been getting interesting..and there is alot of proof in ancient history and Egypt...





Image



The Ancient Hebrews, The Ark, and Reptilians...




Most modern Jews have absolutely no genetic link to the Middle East. There are in fact, many different physical types of Jews, covering many racial characteristics. This supports the fact that they are not a homogeneous group, but a religious group that spans many cultures. The story of Abraham going out from the city of Ur and coming to Canaan is really telling the story of the Reptilian hybrids leaving Sumerian territory and colonizing other parts of Central Asia and the Middle East. The vast majority of European/American Jews can trace their genetic lineage to the Khazars, mentioned in the last chapter, who all converted to Judaism in the 800s to circumvent the Catholic rule of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the year 2000, the University of Pavia in Italy did a genetic study of European men. They found that 80% of them had a direct lineage to Central Asia and the other 20% to the Middle East. This supports the statement that the Sumerians entered into Central Asia and then migrated to Europe and the Middle East. This also nullifies the theory of Africa as the birthplace of mankind. There is absolutely no genetic connection from Asia or Europe to Africa.

The ancient Hebrews have nothing to do with modern Jews. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the Hebrews were Sirian-created in Egypt by combining Sirian and Lyraen genetics. These people were tall and powerful, and spoke the Sirian language which is the equivalent to the ancient Hebrew language. Scholars agree that the Hebrew language suddenly appeared on the scene.

The ancient peoples of Palestine spoke Aramaic, which was the parent language of Arabic, Farsi, and several other Middle Eastern dialects. Originally, Hebrew was a language used exclusively by the priesthood and the Egyptian secret society. Eventually, ancient Hebrew began to mix with Aramaic, among other languages.

The Hebrews were actually paid workers in Egypt. They went to Canaan to assimilate the native cultures for the Egyptian Empire. They mixed with the local tribes of Sumerian-hybrid descendants, practicing blood-ritual and human sacrificed. All of this was incorporated into a conglomerate religion based on ancient Egyptian/Atlantean/ Sirian beliefs. That is how Judaism was born.

The story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt is a poor retelling of the destruction of the island of Santorini in the eastern Mediterranean Sea by volcanic explosion. The lava dispersed into the sea causing it to turn blood-red. The volcanic ash and rock that spewed forth created the legend of the plagues on Egypt. Many citizens fled the area. The Red Sea parted when the ground under the water rose up, exposing land that could then be crossed. Several hours later, it sank back down, drowning whoever was still trying to cross.

The actual translation of how the Ten Commandments, or the Bible codes, were transmitted to the people of the Exodus, states that the people spontaneously started speaking the instructions. This is a demonstration of mind-to-mind communication. In this case, programming was electromagnetically activated, revealing DNA instructions that were then written down. These instructions were designed to keep the experiment/project in line.

The Middle East became a focal point for the Sirians and their Reptilian allies. Together, they generated a new version of religion and culture for ease of global control and domination. What better way to do that than by programming a race of nomadic people that would carry the religion and culture everywhere on the Earth.

Whenever the conditions within the experiment became unmanageable, the particular overseer group made corrections. For example, most people are familiar with the story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, where a group of humans in the mankind experiment went awry. Their sexual habits were not conducive to propagation since they were predominantly homosexual.

A virus was introduced into the population to destroy it. However, it started to spread outside the immediate region. This disturbed the controllers, so they sent two agents to investigate, and to determine if anyone was salvageable. The local inhabitants called them angels, because of their blonde hair, blue eyes, and perfect bodies.

Lot and his wife took the agents into their home to protect them, since all the men in town wanted to have sex with them. Soon after, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. To this day, radiation can be detected at the site. Melted rock is seen in the canyon walls. Sodom and Gomorrah were eliminated with a nuclear weapon.

In the early 1960s, Israeli scientist digging at the site of Sodom found remnants of bone and body tissue encased in rock. American scientists were called in because they had better equipment. What they found in the preserved body tissue was a sample of the virus. The Americans reconstituted it with living cellular nuclei. Quietly it was tested on a terminally ill patient in a St Louis Hospital in 1967. The man died a horrible death. The virus was called AIDS because it removed whatever immune system the man had left. The American research determined that this thousands-of-years-old virus was artificially genetically created.

The ancient Hebrew religion was a conglomeration of the Sumerian-Reptilian belief system, ancient Egyptian-Atlantean-Lyraen belief system, and the Reptilian tribal subcultures found in the land of Canaan that were incorporated into one acceptable dogma. It included blood-ritual and human sacrifice, which is why Abraham was so eager to please God by killing his own son on an altar. This symbolism came in handy later on for religious purposes.

The Hebrew language itself did not appear until after the Hebrews left Egypt, and then only for religious ceremonial purposes by the priests. In fact, many of the terms and names used in the Hebrew religion came from the Egyptian ceremonial rites. The name, Moses, originates from the title given to adepts of the secret Egyptian pyramid cult.



This Egyptian ceremonial title, Moshe, means "he who is anointed with crocodile fat from the Nile River."



Here, we suggest Swerdlow does not deal well - with the academic evidence Moses was Akhanaton - ref: Out of Egypt , House of the Messiah , books etc. But at least he perceives correctly that the best Hebrew rites were mostly descended from Egypt.



The ongoing conflict between Enlil’s Amun Ra priests, versus Akhenaton’s ATUN ( Enki) probably reflects the Enlil more Drac reptilian persuasion, versus Enki - the rebellious son from Sirius, pushing the possibility that a (his?) genetic experiment here could produce a blood line recovery from the catastrophic Nephilim DNA condition.



With the beneficial result to the advanced Draco’s of new access to a blood line that COULD resume star navigating - where the big salaries are made- because of renewed gravity making power in imploding ignited DNA.



This ceremony was performed inside the Kings Chamber in the Great Pyramid.



In Hebrew it meant "out from the water", in reference to the crocodiles. The Egyptian word for crocodile fat was Messeh from which the term Messiah is derived. To be anointed with crocodile fat rendered into an oil, was to absorb powerful, unchanging Reptilian energy and assimilate this into the body. Moshe, or Moses, was a ritual title, not a persons name and was a reference to the crocodile fat used in temple and pyramid ceremonies.

A leader such as a Moses was a logical choice to spearhead a migration of people to safety from a place of turmoil, such as when the destruction of the island of Santorini, also known as Thera, blew up and created havoc on Egyptian territory, causing many to flee. It would also make sense for the Sirian controllers of Egypt to send out their genetic creations, the Hebrews, to a place of safety in the Sinai desert like a safekeeping until needed.

It was then that the Torah, or Holy Commandments, was given to this people as a code by which to live. This document is in a code that can only now be deciphered with the use of a computer. The land of Canaan needed to be conquered in order to give development room to the new creations. In effect, the Hebrews were the next sequence of the experiment, and the old versions were to be eliminated or assimilated.

The Hebrews carried the new coded laws in the Ark of the Covenant (Coven of Ants), that only the priests could touch. When the University of Minnesota in the 1960s attempted to build the Ark as described with instructions in the Bible, it was so electrically charged that it had to be dismantled!



This is why the ancient Hebrew priests entered into the Ark area alone, for safety reasons. They also had to wear white linen, as non-conductive clothing, and wore a special breastplate that grounded them electrically and acted as a protective shield. The Ark was really a communication device. This is why the priests had messages from God whenever they were in the Arks presence.

The Ark also acted as a location device for beacons originating outside of this planet. The Ark was originally kept in the Great Pyramid to focalize energies. It was sent with the Hebrews for safekeeping. It has since traveled from Egypt to Canaan/Israel to Ethiopia, back to Israel, and now is located under the pyramid again.



However, there are actually two Arks.



The second one is in Jerusalem.



Image

We feel this information is incomplete, in that clearly the Ark was a fractally arranged (Orgone) capacitor - whose charge compression could contain radioactivity. And that feeding the charge of this device is the reason it must be located on a major ley line - today it appears- precisely on the Michael line - St Michael’s (Enlil) Island cave in the Azores - image above left (Assuras = assa uru)- where Jacque Cousteau’s son lost his life for getting too close.




http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sumer ... les17b.htm






I will add more to the thread as I research...








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PostMon Sep 23, 2013 1:23 am » by Kinninigan


:look:




This is where THE REAL Reptilian research is. It appears that not only Africa has crocodile cult, but New Guinea has one along the Sepik River as well. These are all continents part of "The Old World" which is interesting. And the only place we find crocodiles.














The Crocodile Cult


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Leon Hijweege
Uploaded on Oct 7, 2008

A small documentary about the crocodile cult alongside the sepik river














Sepik River

The Sepik River /ˈseɪpɪk/ is the longest river on the island of New Guinea, and after the Fly and the Mamberamo the third largest by volume. The majority of the river flows through the Papua New Guinea (PNG) provinces of Sandaun and East Sepik, with a small section flowing through the Indonesian province of Papua.

The Sepik has a large catchment area and landforms that include swamplands, tropical rainforests and mountains. Biologically, the river system is possibly the largest uncontaminated freshwater wetland system in the Asia-Pacific region. The only larger rivers in the world with no dams in their drainage basins are the Fly River, the Mamberamo River (both also in New Guinea), and the Pechora in Russia. The Amazon River has no dams, but its tributaries do.

Image
Sediment plumes at the mouth of the Sepik (right) and Ramu (left) rivers














Sepik Art

The tribes living along the river produce magnificent wood carvings and artful clay pottery. Many tribes use garamut drums in rituals; the drums are formed from long, hollowed-out tree trunks carved into the shape of various totem animals. In part of an elaborate coming of age ceremony, young men are scarified with the image of a crocodile on a riverbank.

Image





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepik











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PostMon Sep 23, 2013 7:20 pm » by SolStone


Hey Kinni,

The ANHK symbolizes time and space (encapsulating all physical matter/manifestation).

The cross is two dimensions crossing one another at a single point (reference) = SPACE.

The circle above represents Saturn, a completed circuit = TIME.

All time and space (anything outside of consciousness is physical matter/manifestation).

In some cases the ANHK symbolizes one group giving life to another. In some it represents the passing of the suns;

...in the case of your post, it would seem to be representing the giving of science to humanity. The entity is holding the ANHK in his right hand and offering it to humanity; the right hand is a GIVER, electric, and outgoing. It would seem the image depicts the giving of science (knowledge of physical manifestation) to humanity.

Welcome back Kinni, you were missed. :)

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PostMon Sep 23, 2013 7:56 pm » by Kinninigan


SolStone wrote:Hey Kinni,

The ANHK symbolizes time and space (encapsulating all physical matter/manifestation).

The cross is two dimensions crossing one another at a single point (reference) = SPACE.

The circle above represents Saturn, a completed circuit = TIME.

All time and space (anything outside of consciousness is physical matter/manifestation).

In some cases the ANHK symbolizes one group giving life to another. In some it represents the passing of the suns;

...in the case of your post, it would seem to be representing the giving of science to humanity. The entity is holding the ANHK in his right hand and offering it to humanity; the right hand is a GIVER, electric, and outgoing. It would seem the image depicts the giving of science (knowledge of physical manifestation) to humanity.

Welcome back Kinni, you were missed. :)




I have some other info from Zulu Shayman Credo Mutwa on that symbol. It involves how the vatican (zion) was able to bring christianity into the continents of Africa, America, and Australia, who had NO organized religions.

When the Indians saw the symbol on conquering ships sent from europe, Indians gathering at the beaches to welcome them, only to be tricked and slaughtered.

It involves a story of one-footed creatures called "monopods" who wore the symbol around their necks and taught "black majick" to tribes.

(hmm... the term "getting ones foot in the door" ring a bell?)



This video is long buts its really a collection of Africa folklore stories about reptilians (i have watched it 3 times already over the years)


This story about the monopods starts @ 3:39:30





And Credo makes a great point, WHY DID TRIBES ACCEPT THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF THEIR INVADERS?

Credo Mutwa on the Reptilian Agenda (FULL)


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PostMon Sep 23, 2013 9:03 pm » by SolStone


Awesome Kinni! I researched Credo Mutwa a few years back; never did understand the backlash he received, all the information he provided was consistent. Most likely his associations with Icke; oh well, if information is thrown out on the basis of disliking what one hears, then I suppose that sums up the "pearls before swine" parable.

I notice persons do that to you as well, without reading the information you provide. Personally I appreciate all your research Kinni and I always enjoy reading what you share.

Regarding the ANHK, Yeshua ben Yosef, on the cross, with the crown of thorns/ defeating Space via Death; defeating Time (circuit of reincarnation) via ascension - all these things can be found within the Emerald Tablets.

I don't have to tell you that do I? You are the gem who shared those documents on this site!

Give 'little Kinni' a scratch under the chin for me, I loved watching his dancing videos!

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PostMon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm » by Svaha


Thanks Kinnigan.
My view on this is a little different, I don't see it (in Egypt) as worshipping the crocodile god.

Egypt is all about 'as above so below'.
The Nile is like our spine, the pyramids are like the glands in our head.
Some of the temples along the Nile represent the chakras, starting with the root chakra in Aswan and the second chakra in Kom Ombo where you can see some mummified crocodiles.
The second chakra is about safety and sexuality, but also the seat of Kundalini.
The purpose of the temple was to awaken the kundalini.
Adepts had to swim in water with crocodiles, they had to dive into the water into some sort of tunnel, if they swam to the first light they saw (after the tunnel) they failed the test, because that's where the crocodiles were.
If they swam deeper into the dark a second light would show up and they passed the test.

What 'we' most of the time don't understand is that these were no gods to the people (in the know), but manifestations of 'God', the many names of 'God'.
Sure, later on, as we devolved all the knowledge was lost and rituals lost their meaning.
Follow your bliss(ters) - Joseph Campbell

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PostTue Sep 24, 2013 2:59 pm » by Temps13


The Ogdoad are prolly representatives of Space Pope
Image
Image
Prolly one of Kinni's mates
Image Image
IRMENSUL13

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PostTue Sep 24, 2013 3:06 pm » by Kinninigan


SolStone wrote:Awesome Kinni! I researched Credo Mutwa a few years back; never did understand the backlash he received, all the information he provided was consistent. Most likely his associations with Icke; oh well, if information is thrown out on the basis of disliking what one hears, then I suppose that sums up the "pearls before swine" parable.

I notice persons do that to you as well, without reading the information you provide. Personally I appreciate all your research Kinni and I always enjoy reading what you share.

Regarding the ANHK, Yeshua ben Yosef, on the cross, with the crown of thorns/ defeating Space via Death; defeating Time (circuit of reincarnation) via ascension - all these things can be found within the Emerald Tablets.

I don't have to tell you that do I? You are the gem who shared those documents on this site!

Give 'little Kinni' a scratch under the chin for me, I loved watching his dancing videos!






And the research I do is THOUSANDS of years before David Icke, yet people still call me an "icke-tard"








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PostTue Sep 24, 2013 3:11 pm » by Kinninigan


Svaha wrote:Thanks Kinnigan.
My view on this is a little different, I don't see it (in Egypt) as worshipping the crocodile god.

Egypt is all about 'as above so below'.
The Nile is like our spine, the pyramids are like the glands in our head.
Some of the temples along the Nile represent the chakras, starting with the root chakra in Aswan and the second chakra in Kom Ombo where you can see some mummified crocodiles.
The second chakra is about safety and sexuality, but also the seat of Kundalini.
The purpose of the temple was to awaken the kundalini.
Adepts had to swim in water with crocodiles, they had to dive into the water into some sort of tunnel, if they swam to the first light they saw (after the tunnel) they failed the test, because that's where the crocodiles were.
If they swam deeper into the dark a second light would show up and they passed the test.

What 'we' most of the time don't understand is that these were no gods to the people (in the know), but manifestations of 'God', the many names of 'God'.
Sure, later on, as we devolved all the knowledge was lost and rituals lost their meaning.








The reptilian worship came into Egypt after the land of Khemit was destroyed and Alpha-Draco took over.
When thoth built the great pyramid it was to build a stargate to flee this planet, since all previous stargates were destroyed when the Draco crashed the planet venus into Maldek (planet earth during atlantis) after Atlanteans discovered how to expose the shapeshifting Draco.

In the emerald tablets Thoth said he went to the land of the 'hairy barbarians" in the desert and founded Khemit, the new lay line center of what is now Earth.

He also built the "hall of records" below the sphinx, and we all know the elites wont let us find that...










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