Thursday, July 23, 2015

Serapis or Asar-Hap

Image from Mythology Wiki

Introduced by Ptolemy I at Alexandra to help unify Greek and Egyptian ethnic groups within his realm, the Greco-Egyptian god Serapis was a composite. From his Greek ancestry, he absorbed attributes of Bacchus, god of wine, Askelpios, god of medicine, and various other gods.

On the Egyptian side, he owed something to Osiris, and something to the bull-god Apis, sacred to Memphis. Called Asar-Hap by Egyptians, his name was Hellenized as Serapis.

On his head, Serapis wears horns, sun disk and protective spitting cobra. he carries an ankh, symbol of life. The Greek version is a bearded man.

His centre of worship, the Serapium in Alexandra, remained sacred to him into the Roman period. Later the Emperor Theodosius destroyed it. 

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