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date: 01 December 2022



  • Richard Gordon


Apis, the sacred bull at *Memphis in Egypt, oracular ‘herald’ of *Ptah (cf. Plin. HN 8. 185), with distinctive markings (Hdt 3. 28; Ael. NA 11. 10). The cult probably goes back to the earliest Old Kingdom. When the bull died, the body was embalmed and borne in procession to the subterranean ‘great chambers’ at Saqqara. Thousands of invocations found there, requesting Apis to bless life and name, testify to the cult's appeal to Egyptians. The embalmed bull was termed Osiris-Apis (Diod. Sic. 1. 85. 4; cf. Plut. De Is.


  • Roman Myth and Religion

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