The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 155.

artists depicted the animal with its paws raised as in a gesture of adoration towards the sun disk. Here we find the explanation of the numerous amulets showing an adoring baboon before Harpocrates as he sits on his lotus throne. Thus the baboon may be regarded as a solar animal. However, when the baboon appears without Harpocrates, the interpretation is open to a slight doubt, because the animal was also taken as a symbol of Thoth in his capacity as god of the moon.37 In the older art Thoth, whether human form or represented as a baboon, wears on his head the moon disk resting in a crescent; this can be seen on the head of the baboon in D. 196. Usually, however, the disk over the head of the baboon is identical with the ordinary solar disk. After all, the attempt to discriminate between the baboon as a solar animal and as a representative of Thoth is scarcely worth while, for the moon itself was conceived to be the nocturnal representative of the sun.38

In certain cases it is clear that the baboon actually a surrogate for Harpocrates, as on an interesting stone in the Newell collection, where the central design is a baboon riding on a lion, right paw raised, palm outward, the left holding the flail;39 above, two snakes, a scarab with extended wings, two crowned hawks. Behind the baboon's head is a crescent, but the star which doubtless balanced it in front has disappeared in consequence of extensive chipping at the left and lower parts of the design. The reverse has three Greek letters scattered among a score of characters, which are cut with unusual care and precision. A similar design, with baboon and lion, but without the other animals, has been published by Barry.40 The baboon carries a whip (not a flail), and the disk is over his head. The solar character is present also in a Michigan amulet that shows the baboon standing and holding out in his paws the infant Harpocrates seated on a lotus flower in the usual attitude; yet here the disk over the animal's head seems to rest in a crescent.41 The reverse design, Aphrodite duing her hair, is sometimes associated with Harpocrates,42 and the inscriptions of both the obverse and the bevel contain words that are common on stones whose solar connections are certain. An amulet in Athens, published by Delatte, shows still another way of connecting the baboon with solar religion.43 Here the animal has the head of a hawk (the bird of Horus) with an elaborate crown above it, is clothed, carries a scepter in the left hand, and holds the right towards his mouth. The bevel is engraved with the Chabrach formula, which belongs almost exclusively to Harpocrates amulets.

A well-cut chalcedony in the Michigan collection, which shows a seated baboon with disk over his head, worth mentioning because of the inscription on its reverse, Ουσειρι, Osiris.44 It is imprudent to assume that all inscriptions are rationally related to designs that accompany them, but in all probability this is one of several instances in which Osiris has a solar aspect; here shown only by the connection of his name with a solar animal.

37 Müller, p. 32, fig. 12; p. 33, fig. 17.

38 Erman, p. 22.

39 D. 248.

40 Ann. du serv., 7, Pl. 1 (facing p. 288), 8.

42 King, Gnostics, Pl. E 2.

43 Musée Belge, 18, 48–50; Pl. 2, 13.

Last modified: 2012-10-30 11:46:13