polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: isis

BM Mummy Board EA 35464

“Taubastis whom Tasua bore, your ba will be received at the underworld in the hall of the western mountains in the presence of the lord of the gods, the king of the entire land, Osiris Wennefer, you being justified. You will proceed to This. You will fare upstream to Abydos. Water will be poured out for you at the offering table on the 25th of Khoiak, the morning of the 26th, and during the remainder of the mummification rites of the king of the entire land. Your body will be taken to the sky, your head to the house of the magistrate. A perfect mummification will be effected for you, while Isis the mistress of the West, lady of illumination, blesses it. Amulets of gold and every genuine stone will be fashioned for you. You are rendered complete with the best byssus, linen of the first quality, fir resin, incense, Syrian unguent, myrrh, and dry frankincense. You are in the praises of the gods of the sky, earth and underworld. Anubis, preeminent within the god’s booth, the great messenger of the underworld, will receive you. Your ba is a deity in the mansion of the benben-stone among those who are sent. He will weigh up your great good deeds. He has never discovered any fault in you. He will speak your praise before the Libyan, Hathor to whom the West has been entrusted. She will cause you to rise up in a state of justification. Fresh water will be taken to you daily, Taubastis whom Tasua bore. You are favored for ever and renewed each day. Your father and mother have no charge or crime against you to lodge before the great widow of the djed-pillar, the sister of Osiris Wennefer, the great god and lord of Abydos.” – BM Mummy Board EA 35464

IG 10.2.255

“It seemed in his sleep that Serapis was standing near him and ordered him to come to Opus so that he might announce to Eurynomos son of Timesitheos that he should receive him and his sister Isis, and that he should present to him the letter under his pillow. When he woke up he wondered at the dream and was at a loss to know what to do, because he was a political enemy of Eurynomos. But falling asleep again, and seeing the same thing again, and waking, he found the letter under his pillow exactly as had been signified to him. Going home, he delivered the letter to Eurynomos and announced to him what orders had been laid on him by the god. Eurynomos, taking the letter and hearing what Xenainetos said, was at a loss as to what to do since, as previously mentioned, the two were political rivals. But opening the letter and seeing written in it what accorded with what Xenainetos had said, he received Serapis and Isis.”- IG 10.2.255

Prokopios, The Wars of Justinian 1.19.34-37

“Diocletian went so far as to select a certain island in the River Nile close to the city of Elephantine and there construct a very strong fortress in which he established certain temples and altars for the Romans and the barbarians in common, and he settled priests of both nations in this fortress, thinking that the friendship between them would be secure by reason of their sharing the things sacred to them. And for this reason he named the place Philae. Now both these nations, the Blemyes and the Nobatae, believe in all the gods in which the Hellenes believe, and they also reverence Isis and Osiris, and not least of all Priapus. But the Blemyes are accustomed also to sacrifice human beings to the sun. These sanctuaries in Philae were kept by these barbarians even up to my time, but the Emperor Justinian decided to tear them down. Accordingly Narses, a Persarmenian by birth, whom I have mentioned before as having deserted to the Romans, being commander of the troops there, tore down the sanctuaries at the emperor’s order, and put the priests under guard and sent the statues to Byzantium.” – Prokopios, The Wars of Justinian 1.19.34-37

IGPhilae 68

“He who worships Isis of Philae is fortunate, not only because he becomes wealthy, but because at the same time he enjoys a long life. I, who grew up near Isis of Pharos have come here to worship Isis of Philae. I am Serenus, assistant to the illustrious Ptolemaios, and I came along with Felix and Apollonios the painter. We have come in accordance with the oracles of the invincible lord Apollon, to offer libations and sacrifices, desiring also to share in these. We do this not only for ourselves but on behalf of our wives and children and the whole of our households. The year 31 of Emperor Commodus, 29th day of Phamenoth.” – IGPhilae 68

P.Lond. 26

“To King Ptolemy and Queen Kleopatra the sister, gods Philometores, greeting. Thaues and Taous, twins, perform rites in the great Sarapeion at Memphis. And formerly, when you stayed in Memphis and went up to the temple to sacrifice, we petitioned you and presented a petition to you, carrying before you our complaint that we had not received the required salary that should have been given to us by the Sarapeion and the Asklepeion. But since we still have not received this in full, we have necessarily been compelled— undone as we are by hunger—to peition you once again and to place before you in a few words the selfishness of those who are treating us unjustly. For you had previously set aside an allocation for the Sarapeion and the Asklepeion; and from this the twins who preceded us also received the daily necessities. And furthermore, they indicated to us, when we first went into the temple, for a few days rightaway, that whatever was appropriate for us would be carried out in due course; but subsequently it has not been done. Consequently, we both sent people who petitioned the director, and we reported on these things to you when you happened to be in Memphis. And when the appointed administrators of the Sarapeion and Askleprion were cruel to us, and denied us the privileges you granted, and paid no attention to religious duty, being oppressed by necessities, we asked Achomarres, the temple supervisor, several times to pay us. And we approached the son of Psintaes, the temple supervisor, when he was going up to the temple the day before yesterday, and gave him information about each of these things. And when he had summoned Archomarres, he ordered him to pay all we were owed. But the latter, who is the most unfeeling of men, promised us that he would comply with the order. But when the son of Psintaes had departed from Memphis, he (Archomarres) no longer took any account of the issue. And not only this man, but also others associated with the Sarapeion and others in the administration of the Asklepeion, from whom it is customary for us to receive our necessities, are cheating us, whose names and obligations, on account of being so numerous, we decided not to record. We beg you, therefore—hoping on the basis of the aid which comes from you—to send our petition to Dionysios—a member of the court and stratêgos —in order the he might write to Apollonios the director so that he, in turn, having received from us the written list of what pay is owed us, and for what length of time and by whom, may compel them to pay it to us in order that, when we have everything in order, we may fulfill the customary duties to Sarapis and Isis much better on behalf of you and your children. May it be granted to you to rule all the land that you desire. May you prosper.” – P.Lond. 26

UPZ 1.78.1-28

“In my dream I seemed to be walking in Memphis, from west to east, and I climbed up a pile of straw, and a man coming toward me from the west also climbed up. My eyes were as though closed, and when I suddenly opened them I saw the twins in Tothes’ classroom. They were calling me. I answered, ‘Don’t be discouraged, Tothes is tired of finding the way to me, because I’ve overturned my bed!’ I then heard Tothes answer, ‘Go away! Why are you saying that? I’ll bring you the twins.’ … I walked toward them until I reached them, and I walked for a while in the street with them. I said, ‘I have very little time left outdoors and what I was will disappear tomorrow morning.’ Immediately I saw one of them go into a dark corner of a house, and she sat down on the other side and did many things which I cannot describe. I begged Serapis and Isis with these words, ‘Come to me, goddess of goddesses, have pity and hear me! Pity the twins whom you have made twins. Save me! I am old and I know the end will soon come. But they will be women, and if they are sullied, they will never again be pure.'” – UPZ 1.78.1-28

Harris Stela 8-10

“I went to the residence of the Greek kings, which is located on the shores of the Great Green [the Mediterranean], on the west side of the Canopic branch, and whose name is Rhakotis. The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god Philopator Philadelphos, the young Osiris, left his palace in life and vigor and went to the temple of Isis … He presented the goddess with with numerous and profuse offerings. As he left the temple of Isis in his chariot, the king himself stopped his chariot and placed on my head a diadem of gold and all sorts of genuine precious stones, bearing the effigy of the king. I thus became his priest, and he promulgated a royal decree for all the cities and nomes, saying ‘I have promoted Psenptais, the high priest of Ptah, to be priest of my cult, and I have accorded him revenues in the temples of Upper and Lower Egypt.'” – Harris Stela 8-10

I.Faiyum 2.112

“Place of asylum by royal ordinance. Access forbidden to undesirables. To King Ptolemy Alexander, god Philometor, greetings on behalf of the priests of Isis Sachypsis, the very great goddess who was the first to appear, of the temple in Theadelphia … Oh very great king, given that the sanctuary in question has been sacred since the time of your ancestors, and that it has been venerated and placed in the highest rank in all times past, but that now, certain impious people, who are behaving contrary to convention, are not only driving out by force the suppliants who come to take refuge there, but also, by treating them roughly and using the most terrible violence, are committing sacrilegious acts, offending the piety you display toward the divine and especially toward the goddess Isis, oh most holy king, we therefore pray you, victory bearing god, if it pleases you, to ordain that the said sanctuary be a place of asylum, and that stelai of stone be erected towards the four winds, at a distance of fifty cubits around the temple, bearing the inscription ‘access denied to undesirables.’ That, most great king, in your interest … so that the sacrifices, libations, and all the other ceremonies instituted by you, your children, and your ancestors in honor of Isis and Serapis, might be better celebrated, and so that we might be blessed by your beneficent deeds. Good fortune. Reply of the King: To Lysanias, the strategos of the nome; execute the request of the priests. Year 21, Mekhir 7.” – I.Faiyum 2.112

P. Schmidt 42

“It is Esrmpe, the daughter of Kllaouk, who is complaining about Hor, the son of Tanesneou. My lord Osiris, lord of Hasro! I complain to you, do justice to me and Hor, the son of Tanesneou, concerning what I have done to him and what he has done to me. Namely, he does not make love with me, I having no power, I having no protector-son. I am unable to help myself, I am childless. There is no one who could complain concerning me before you because of Hor … I complain to you … Osiris, listen to my call! Look how he has treated me! Open the way for your messengers … Osiris, lord of Abydos, Osiris … Isis … Ophois, Hathor, nurse of Anubis the Osiride, the cowherd of … do justice to me!” – P. Schmidt 42

P. Oxy. 241

“Caecilius Clemens to the agorabomos, greeting. Register a contract of loan from Thonis, son of Harpaesis, son of Petseranthis, his mother being Petosiris, daughter of Harpaesis, of the city of Oxyrynchus, chief bearer in the temple of Thoeris and Isis and Serapis and Osiris and the associated most mighty gods …” – P. Oxy. 241

CIL 6.21129

“To the spirits of the dead of Gaius Larinas Atticus. Should anyone disturb this man’s bones or take away this altar he will incur the roused anger of both myself and the goddess Isis.” – CIL 6.21129

P. Faud 76

“Sarapous invites you to dine at his house on the occasion of the offering to Our Lady Isis, tomorrow, namely the 29th, beginning at the 9th hour.” – P. Faud 76

Tertullian, Apology 6.8

“Serapis, Isis, Harpokrates, and the Dog-head were forbidden on the Capitol – in other words, expelled from the assembly of the gods; and Piso and Gabinius – consuls, not Christians, you know – actually overturned their altars and banished them, in the endeavor to restrain the vices that go with foul and idle superstition.” – Tertullian, Apology 6.8

Marinus of Samaria, The Life of Proclus 18-19

“Proclus made use of the noble purificatory practices which woo us from evil, that is lustrations and all of the other processes of purification whether Orphic or Chaldean, such as dipping himself into the sea without hesitation every month, and sometimes even twice or thrice a month. He practiced this discipline, rude as it was, not only in his prime, but even also when he approached his life’s decline; and so he observed, without ever failing, these austere habits of which he had, so to speak, made himself a law … As to the necessary pleasures of food and drink, he made use of them with sobriety, for to him they were no more than a solace from his fatigues. He especially preached abstinence from animal food, but if a special ceremony compelled him to make use of it, he only tasted it, out of consideration and respect. Every month he sanctified himself according to the rites devoted to the Mother of the Gods by the Romans, and before them by the Phrygians; he observed the holy days observed among the Egyptians even more strictly than did they themselves; and especially he fasted on certain days, quite openly. During the first day of the lunar month he remained without food, without even having eaten the night before; and he likewise celebrated the New Moon in great solemnity, and with much sanctity. He regularly observed the great festivals of all peoples, so to speak, and the religious ceremonies peculiar to each people or country. Nor did he, like so many others, make this the pretext of a distraction, or of a debauch of food, but on the contrary they were occasions of prayer meetings that lasted all night, without sleep, with songs, hymns and similar devotions. Of this we see the proof in the composition of his hymns, which contain homage and praises not only of the gods adored among the Greeks, but where you also see worship of the god Marnas of Gaza, Asklepios Leontukhos of Askalon, Thyandrites who is much worshipped among the Arabs, the Isis who has a temple at Philae, and indeed all other divinities. It was a phrase he much used, and that was very familiar to him, that a philosopher should watch over the salvation of not only a city, nor over the national customs of a few people, but that he should be the hierophant of the whole world in common. Such were the holy and purificatory exercises he practiced, in his austere manner of life.” – Marinus of Samaria, The Life of Proclus 18-19

I.Philae.Dem. 370.4-9

“I am anointed for the cleansing festival, doing the services of Osiris for ever, in the year 90 of Diocletian (373). May I perform a great and good proskynema, and I will do for you Isis services according to their kind, like (?) as in the year named. I overlaid the statue of Cleopatra with gold. That the cool water of my father Harentyotf, scribe of the divine book (pterophoras), may live.” –I.Philae.Dem. 370.4-9

P.Mich.inv. 2458

“Aphrodite, Venus
Artemis, Diana
Charon, Orcus
Daimon, Genius
Demeter, Ceres
Eileithyia, Juno Lucina
Enypnion, Somnium
Ge Meter, Terra Mater
Hemitheoi, Indigetes
Hera Basilissa, Juno Regina
Hera, Juno
Heroes katoikidioi , Lares familiares
Hestia, Vesta
Hygieia, Salus
Leto, Latona
Meter Megale, Mater Magna
Nemesis, Ultrix
Phersephone, Proserpina
Sarapis, Serapis
Semele, Libera
Thanatos, Mors
Tyche, Fortuna” – P.Mich.inv. 2458

P.Mich.inv. 1258

“Lady Isis! If you have caused my misery, and if you can give me a cure, please make sure that this note is brought back to me!” – P.Mich.inv. 1258

P.Tebt., 1.44

“To Menches, komogrammateus of Kerkeosiris, from Haryotes son of Phaesis, cultivator of Crown land and an inhabitant of the said village. While I was in the great temple of Isis here for devotional purposes on account of the sickness from which I am suffering, on the 23rd of Pachon in the 3rd year Horos son of Haryotes, a resident in the aforesaid temple of Isis, picked a quarrel with me, and beginning with abuse and unseemly behavior he at last fell upon me and gave me many blows with the staff which he was carrying. Therefore, since in consequence of the blows my life is in danger, I make this statement to you in order that it may be forwarded by you to the proper officials and I may have it placed on record, so that if anything happens to me subsequently he may not escape unpunished. Farewell.” – P.Tebt., 1.44

Juvenal, Satires 6.522-41

“In winter she will go down to the river in the morning, break the ice, and plunge three times into the Tiber, dipping her trembling head even in its whirling waters, and crawling out thence naked and shivering, she will creep with bleeding knees right across the field of Tarquin the Proud. If the white Io shall so order, she will journey to the confines of Egypt, and fetch water got from hot Meroe with which to sprinkle the Temple of Isis which stands hard by the ancient sheepfold. For she believes that the command was given by the voice of the goddess herself–a pretty kind of mind and spirit for the gods to have converse with by night! Hence the chief and highest place of honour is awarded to Anubis, who, with his linen-clad and bald crew, mocks at the weeping of the people as he runs along. He it is that obtains pardon for wives who break the law of purity on days that should be kept holy, and exacts huge penalties when the coverlet has been profaned, or when the silver serpent has been seen to nod his head. His tears and carefully-studied mutterings make sure that Osiris will not refuse a pardon for the fault, bribed, no doubt, by a fat goose and a slice of sacrificial cake.” – Juvenal, Satires 6.522-41

P. Hor 14-20

“From Hor the scribe, the man of the town of Isis, lady of the cavern, the great goddess, in the nome of Sebennytos. The dream which told to me of the safety of Alexandria and the journeyings of Antiochos, namely that he would leave Egypt by year 2, Paoni, final day. I reported this to Irenaeus the strategos … Cleon, the agent of Antiochos, had not yet left Memphis. I gave it to the Pharaohs in the Great Serapeion which is in Alexandria. There came about the counsel of Isis, the great goddess, and Thoth the three times great, in every matter which concerned these things ….” – P. Hor 14-20

SEG 28. 421

“Stele of Isis and Serapis. God! Good luck. A sanctuary sacred to Isis, Serapis, Anoubis. Whoever wishes to sacrifice shall enter the sanctuary, being pure: from childbirth on the ninth day; from an abortion, for forty-four days; from menstruation, on the seventh day; from bloodshed, for seven days, from eating goat meat and mutton, on the third day; from other foods, having washed onself from the head down, on the same day; from sexual intercourse, on the same day, having washed onself; from … on the same day, having washed onself … no one shall enter … enter …” – SEG 28. 421

Propertius, Elegies 2.33A

“Once again to my sorrow the dismal rites have returned: now for ten nights is Cynthia engaged in worship. Down with the rites which the daughter of Inachus has sent from the warm Nile to the matrons of Italy! The goddess that has so often sundered ardent lovers, whoever she was, was always harsh. In your secret love of Jove, Io, you certainly discovered what it means to travel on many paths. When Juno bade you, a human girl, put on horns and drown your speech in the hoarse lowing of a cow, ah, how often did you chafe your mouth with oak leaves and chew in your stall the arbute you had fed on! Is it because Jupiter has taken that wild shape from your features that you have become such a haughty goddess? Are the swarthy daughters of Aegyptus too few for your worship? What profit is it to you that girls should sleep alone? Take it from me, either you will have horns again or else, cruel creature, we will banish you from our city: the Nile has never found favour with the Tiber.” – Propertius, Elegies 2.33A

PSI 4.328

“The priests of Aphrodite to Apollonios [the dioiketes] greeting. In accordance with what the king has written to you, to give one hundred talents of myrrh for the burial of [the Hesis], please order this [to be given]. For you know that the Hesis is not brought up to the nome unless we have in readiness everything required for the burial, because [the embalming is done (?)] on the day (of her death). Know that the Hesis is Isis, and may she give you favor in the eyes of the king. Farewell. Year 28, Hathyr 15.” – PSI 4.328

Epiphanius, De Fides 12.1-4

“If I described the orgies of Memphis and Heliopolis, where the tambourine and the flute capture hearts, and the dancing girls, and the triennial festivals of Batheia and Menouthis where women abandon their modesty and their customary state, to what verbal pretensions and to what drawn-out style should I resort to express the number that is truly inexpressible? If even I were to make an extraordinary effort I would not reach the end of this enumeration – as it is said, ‘young girls innumerable!’ The sancturaries of Sais, of Pelusis, of Boubastis, and of Antinoe; the mysteries there, those of Pharbetos, those in honor of the ram of Mendes, as well as those in Bousiris, all those in Sebennytos, and in Diopolis; ceremonies performed just as much in the name of Seth, that is, Typhon, as the one for Tithrambos, the indigenized Hekate; other sacrifice to Senephty, others to Thermouthis, others to Isis.” – Epiphanius, De Fides 12.1-4