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Apis


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APIS.--The sacred bull, which the ancient Egyptians worshipped under this name at Memphis, was consecrated to the moon (Isis); as another bull, at Heliopolis was, under the name of Muevis(?) dedicated to the sun (Osiris). According to the belief which the Egyptian priests took care to inculcate, Apis was the offspring of a cow, rendered fertile by a ray of the moon coming over her in a supernatural manner. His appearance was that of a bull with black and white spots. When the animal died, search was made for another bull of the same pseudo-miraculous origin; and if perchance his life was terminated before the appointed time, all Egypt put on mourning until he was replaced. His successor was chosen with great care, as to the same bodily marks, being honoured with equal veneration in his sanctuary. He served as an oracle both to the Egyptians and to foreigners.  Julius Caesar, Germanicus, Vespasian, and many other Romans of eminence, travelled to Memphis to see and adore this "divine" quadruped.

Several Alexandrine coins exhibit Apis with the attributes that characterise him, and a great number o fother monuments likewise preserve his image--including certain coins of Julianus II in second brass.--See SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE and ISIS FARIA.


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