The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 40.

Nephthys often adhere closely to the old tradition. Amon, Min, and Thueris, who occasionally appear on Graeco-Egyptian amulets, differ from the dynastic types in little but the crudity of the work that represents them. Anubis and Thoth retain their animal heads — jackal and ibis — but their dress is often of the Roman type; in fact, it became common, not only in gems but also in larger works of art, to give the male divinities the costume of a Roman soldier.82 In other cases the Egyptian type has been more or less Hellenized. Harpocrates, for example, is usually not the obviously Egyptian child wearing a conspicuous scalp lock, but an infant god after the Greek idea, often closely assimilated to Eros.83 In place of the hawk-headed Horus, who rarely appears, we find two types: first, a lion-headed god, who seems to be derived from one of the less common dynastic forms of Horus,84 and second, a youthful sun-god with radiate head, in the physical type of Apollo.

Isis has her traditional form chiefly when she appears in a group with Osiris and Nephthys; otherwise the type is modified in certain directions. It is well known that the great expansion of the cult of Isis in Hellenistic and Roman times led her devout worshipers to treat many other goddesses as mere phases of Isis,85 and her overwhelming popularity is strikingly illustrated in the magical amulets. On them, despite the strength of Greek influence, several Greek goddesses are almost unrepresented. Hera, Demeter, and Kore seem to be absorbed by Isis, although when they appear with Sarapis-Hades, Demeter and Kore are not so overlaid with Isiac attributes as to be unrecognizable. Artemis scarcely appears except on a few stones that are thought to represent the Artemis of Ephesus (see, however, D. 6). Whether Athena is to be found as a principal figure on any magical amulet is doubtful (cf. D. 53); it is possible that some of the aspects of the goddess were adequately represented in Egypt by Thoth. An interesting lapis lazuli in the Southesk collection (N 24) shows on one side Isis-Hathor as Aphrodite arranging her hair (the Anadyomene type), on the other seven deities, chiefly Egyptian; among them is a helmeted goddess resembling Athena, but she is wielding a double axe — not a spear, her usual weapon — and attacking a serpent.86 The editor thought that these deities represented the seven planets,

82 Perhaps because statues of the divine emperors often showed them in military dress; so Von Bissing, Ägyptische Kultbilder der Piolemäer- und Römerzeit (Der alte Orient, 34), pp. 19–23. In another work the same writer thinks that the military costume may be connected with the idea of the sancta militia (Apul. Met. 11, 15). He who feels himself a soldier in the service of a god naturally gives the deity a military habit (Von Bissing, Denkmäler der ägyptischen Kunst, note 13 on P1. 121 in the text; Reitzenstein on “soldiers of God,” Hellenistische Mysterienreligion, pp. 66–70).

83 There are a good many exceptions, notably in the Museo Borgiano, where Zoega describes several gems that show Harpocrates with the scalp lock, as p. 439, 33, 38, and a few others. See also D. 203, 211.

84 Lanzone, Pl. 244, 1–3; Daressy, Statues, 38574, 38575, Pl. 32; Mercer, Horus: Royal God of Egypt, pp. 179–180.

85 Cf. Apul. Met. 11, 5, and P. Oxy. 1380.

86 This stone must be the same as one that formerly belonged to the library of Sainte Geneviève in Paris; see Du Molinet, Le Cabinet de la bibliothèque de Sainte Geneviève (1692), p. 130 and figs. 1 and 2 opposite. Lord Southesk observed the similarity of his gem to the cuts of the other, but hesitated to assert their identity because he did not know the material used for the Paris gem. He had apparently not seen the original publication by Du Molinet, which says that the stone is lapis lazuli, and had probably known of it through the publications of Montfaucon and Matter, which do not mention the material.

Last modified: 2012-11-05 10:13:12